Staff Spotlight: Kim Perkins
Director of In-School Programs, Charlotte
For our first Staff Spotlight, we are thrilled to highlight the work of Kim Perkins, Director of In-School Programs in Charlotte. As Director of In-School Programs Kim oversees program implementation and supports the team in maintaining high levels of fidelity while increasing the number of students supported throughout the region.
When Kim joined in 2019, she was an instrumental part of establishing the infrastructure for our HELPS (Helping Early Literacy with Practice Strategies) program in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). Since that initial year, and despite significant challenges during the pandemic, our team more than doubled the number of individuals served annually in CMS. Since then, each school year represented significant growth, with 568 CMS students receiving HELPS tutoring in the 2020-2021 school year, and 870 CMS students receiving tutoring during the 2021-2022 school year.
When asked which accomplishment she was most proud of throughout her time with Helps Education Fund, Kim shared how last year (school year 2021-2022) was a highlight. Not only did the team greatly increase the number of students served (870 CMS elementary school students in grades 1-5), but the students who received tutoring had the highest rate of exceeding national expectations in reading fluency. Of the students who received HELPS in CMS, more than 70% exceeded expectations in reading fluency. This impact for reading fluency is particularly notable because one recent study found that the typical evidence-based literacy program shows significant improvement for only 3-14% of students who receive the program (see here for more details: https://bit.ly/EDNC_RCreview.)
Kim has a strong commitment to social justice and equity. She brings years of executive and operational experience to Helps Education Fund. Kim believes that education is the key to building the educational foundation students need to achieve long-term success through schooling and beyond. Erin Banks, Chief Impact Officer, Charlotte, describes Kim as “a tremendous asset to Helps Education Fund’s team. Her commitment to education, collaborative spirit and leadership are admirable!”
Kim credits the success of Helps Education Fund programs in Charlotte to the commitment and dedication of the team. “I am so proud to be part of a team that not only works towards educational equity but also provides programs that create meaningful results for students, families and educators, and is helping to break cycles of poverty and illiteracy” says Kim. She goes on to say that “Working with the staff at Helps Education Fund is my favorite part because everyone is so dedicated.” The whole team inspires her as they celebrate not only large-scale success, but together each time a student enrolls in tutoring. The Helps Ed Fund team feels similarly about Kim as Gia Page, Senior Director, Charlotte, remarked "Kim is the foundational brick in the Charlotte work. She has supported the growth of the organization in every way possible. Her bottom line is to ensure that students are accessing the services they need to advance their literacy skills. She will go the extra mile to make sure Charlotte students are served."
Helps Education Fund is fortunate to have Kim Perkins on our team and looks forward to the impact she will continue to make supporting students and families in improving foundational academic skills and helping to create a more just society.