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How can you support schools to get to 80% proficiency?

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In order to achieve Read Charlotte’s bold goal of doubling the percentage of third graders reading on grade level from 39% to 80% by 2025, we need every member of the community to play their part. 

Get books into the hands of children.

Having access to lots of books helps children become strong readers. But about 40% of 4th graders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools say they have no more than a shelf full of books of any kind at home. We have a massive “book desert” in the middle of Mecklenburg County where children are growing up with little access to books on a regular basis. Providing books for children of all ages—starting at birth—is a top request of teachers. You can help! Make a financial contribution to an organization that distributes books to children or donate new or gently used books yourself to early learning/child care programs, schools or community groups. We recommend the following programs in Charlotte-Mecklenburg:

Volunteer to read with children.

Reading with children is one of the most impactful things we can do. When we read books with a child (rather than just reading the words on a page to a child) we help improve their language skills, vocabulary, and ability to understand what they read on their own. Research shows that active reading with a child as little as 15-20 minutes three or four times a week makes a big difference. We recommend the following opportunities to actively read with children in Charlotte-Mecklenburg:

Volunteer to tutor a child.

Directly giving your time to child who struggles with reading can result in positive impact on the child’s reading ability, overall reading confidence, and their feelings and opinions about their love for reading.

 In our research we found that consistency and commitment are key to making the most gains with children. We recommend investigating the following high-quality structured tutoring programs that include initial training and onboarding, a guided curriculum to ensure your time with the child is productive and meaningful, and continued support for assistance and ongoing development.

Contribute to Read Charlotte or groups that do one of the above.

Contributions to Read Charlotte will be used for one or more of the following: books, community education, family engagement, or our Transformation Fund that will invest in evidence-based literacy programs. Donations are administered by the Foundation For The Carolinas. Except for a 2.5% transaction fee, all of your contribution will be used for these purposes. Click here to make an online contribution at the Foundation For The Carolinas website.