Comer to Deliver Keynote at PULSE Year-End Celebration

For more information, contact Barb Steadman - 843.857.4199

HARTSVILLE, S.C. – May 14, 2012 – Dr. James Comer, whose pioneering research in early childhood education is being piloted in four Hartsville elementary schools this year, will offer remarks about the program at 12 noon, Wednesday, May 23 in Watson Theater of the Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center.

The address, which is free and open to the public, will represent his first opportunity to share personal insights about the year-one implementation of the Comer School Development Program (SDP) in Hartsville. His presentation is expected to take less than an hour and will kick off a half-day conference at Coker College for local educators involved in Partners for Unparalleled Local Scholastic Excellence (PULSE).

Administered by the TEACH Foundation, PULSE is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership involving the Darlington County School District, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM), Coker College, Yale University’s School Development Program and Sonoco, which is funding the five-year $5 million initiative.

PULSE was formed to establish a comprehensive scholastic excellence program in Hartsville public schools. The effort’s key components involve expanding opportunities for eligible high school students through challenging courses offered at Coker College and GSSM, and implementing a pilot of SDP at four Hartsville elementary schools.

Previously, Comer has expressed personal optimism about the program, in part, because of the way that the education, business and civic leaders in this South Carolina community have enthusiastically embraced it. “What I have always appreciated about our work in Hartsville is that it was a part of a very thoughtful strategy by community leadership to address the various segments of the community in ways that best meet their educational needs,” Comer said.

Known internationally for his creation of the SDP, Comer is the Maurice Falk Professor of Child Psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine’s Child Study Center in New Haven, Conn. He is the author of nine books, including “Maggie’s American Dream” and “Leave No Child Behind.” He is a co-founder, and past president of the Black Psychiatrists of America and has served on the board of several universities, foundations, and corporations. He was a consultant to Children's Television Workshop and has served as a consultant, committee member, advisory board member and trustee to numerous local and national organizations serving children.

Comer has received 43 honorary degrees and has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the John & Mary Markle Scholar in Academic Medicine Award, Rockefeller Public Service Award, Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education, Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievement in Education, the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, and most recently, the University of Louisville 2007 Grawemeyer Award for Education. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

For more information about PULSE, visit the TEACH Foundation web site at or call 843-917-0026.


About the TEACH Foundation: The TEACH Foundation is a not for profit, 501(c)(3) organization that serves as the administration arm for the PULSE initiative which includes accelerated learning programs for high school students living in Hartsville and the Comer School Development Program in four area elementary schools. The Foundation manages $5 million funding provided by the Sonoco Foundation.





Coker College readies undergraduates for personal and professional success through a distinctive four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the “Best Colleges” in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review. Located in Hartsville, S.C., Coker is within two hours of the cultural, financial and recreational resources of Charlotte, Columbia, Charleston and Myrtle Beach.


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