Who We Are

About Us

We’re Building

Since 2014, Ready for School, Ready for Life (Ready Ready) has served as a backbone organization charged with building a connected, innovative early childhood system within Guilford County, North Carolina.

We worked with hundreds of families and more than 110 agencies and organizations to develop and implement a community-wide vision to improve outcomes while reducing persistent disparities in five areas:

  • Planned and well-timed pregnancies
  • Healthy births
  • On-track development for infants, toddlers & preschoolers
  • School readiness at kindergarten entry
  • Success at the end of third grade

Effective Dec. 21, 2017, Ready for School, Ready for Life became an independent 501(c)(3) organization with a Board of Directors consisting of community leaders who are dedicated to the work of early childhood system-building and improved outcomes for children and their families


Mr. J. Edward Kitchen, co-chair
Joseph M. Bryan Foundation, Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Susan S. Schwartz, co-chair
The Cemala Foundation, Executive Director

Mr. Brian Maness, vice chair
Children’s Home Society, President and CEO

Ms. Teresa Huffman, Secretary
Culp, Inc.
Vice President, Human Resources

Mr. David Leeper, Treasurer
Leeper, Kean & Rumley, L.L.P., Partner

Board of Directors

Mr. Terry Akin
Cone Health System
President and CEO

Dr. Allison Blosser
High Point University
Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Education Studies Program

Mr. Robin Britt
Community Volunteer

Dr. Sharon Contreras
Guilford County Schools

Mr. Pat Danahy
NC Partnership for Children

The Honorable Alan Duncan
NC Board of Education

Dr. Daniel Erb
High Point University
Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Ms. Barbara Frye
Community Volunteer

Mr. Kevin Gray
Weaver Foundation, President

Mr. Mike Halford
Guilford County Manager

Dr. James Hoekstra
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
WFBH High Point Medical Center, President

Mr. Curtis Holloman
Foundation for a Healthy High Point
Executive Director

Dr. Harold Martin
North Carolina A&T State University

Mr. Dell McCormick
Macedonia Family Resource Center
Executive Director

Ms. Mindy Oakley
Edward M. Armfield, Sr. Foundation
Executive Director

Dr. Martin Portillo, M.D.
Cone Health Medical Group
President and Chief Medical Officer

Ms. Meka Sales
The Duke Endowment
Director of Special Initiatives

Dr. Terri Shelton
UNCG Research and Engagement
Vice Chancellor of Research and Engagement

Mr. Adam Tarleton
Brooks Pierce

Mr. James Upchurch
Guilford County

Dr. Iulia Vann
Guilford County
Public Health Director

Ms. Cindy Watkins
Guilford County Partnership for Children
Interim Executive Director


Charrise Hart (Bio), Chief Executive Officer

Heather Adams (Bio) Director of Engagement & Literacy Initiatives

Kelly McKee, (Bio) Vice President of Operations

Michelle Chapin, (Bio) Project Manager

Christina Dobson, (Bio) Director of Navigation Services

Deepti Panjabi, (Bio) Director of Continuous Quality Improvement

Stephanie Skordas, (Bio) Director of Marketing & Communications

Megan LeFaivre, (Bio) Literacy Coordinator

Karthik Dhakshanamoorthy, (Bio) Salesforce Administrator

Madhuri Dilliker, (Bio) Business/Data Analyst

Stormi Covington, (Bio) Community Alignment Specialist, Team Lead

Mollie Blafer, (Bio) Community Alignment Specialist

Felicia Evans, (Bio) Community Alignment Specialist

Angela Powell, (Bio), Grants Manager


Blue Meridian Partners
Duke Endowment
The Cemala Foundation
The Joseph M Bryan Foundation
Edward M Armfield Foundation
The Weaver Foundation
Cone Health
Lincoln Financial
Hillsdale Fund
Foundation for a Healthy High Point
Cone Health Foundation
Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro
Partnership For Children
Stanley and Dorothy Frank Foundation
Tannenbaum Sternberger Foundation
Bobby Labonte Foundation
National Collaborative for infants and toddlers
Center for the Study of Social Policy