COMMUNITY PARTNERS RALLY TO PROMOTE READING RECOVERY IN MECKLENBURG COUNTY THIS SUMMER 

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Charlotte, N.C. (June 7, 2021) – An effort that began last summer to help families keep their children’s reading on track in Mecklenburg County amid the COVID-19 health crisis continues this summer with an even more robust plan to support children and families through various literacy efforts.  

The online “Reading Checkup” initiative, brought forth by Read Charlotte in partnership with Learning Ovations last year, will feature 65 additional activities come June. The tool has resulted in 3,382 completed checkups among children from 135 Charlotte-area schools thus far. This includes creating a free account at ReadingCheckup.org and completing two short online quizzes to learn a PreK-3rd grade child’s reading level. Then, families receive tailored activities to improve each child’s specific skills at home.  

Community partners like the Black Child Development Institute of Charlotte have been instrumental in rolling this out over the past year.  

“Our work together has helped families remember where the power is housed; in the palm of their very own hands,” explains Black Child Development Institute of Charlotte President Dr. Devonya Govan-Hunt. “We have equipped families with questions to ask on behalf of their children, we encouraged them to demand more for their children. Having practical and relevant tools like the Reading Checkup has helped them grow their own children in literacy.”  

The latest Read Charlotte initiative has also resulted in the distribution of 2,832 Literacy Kits, assembled by Classroom Central and provided to local families through innovative events and programs led by six community partners. Plus, 10,602 new & diverse books were distributed to Mecklenburg County children by community partners working with Promising Pages & Read Charlotte.  

“We want to see these numbers grow this summer, as more families learn about the Reading Checkup and connect with our community partners through events and programs,” says Read Charlotte Executive Director Munro Richardson. “We’re very proud of the strides made thus far but there’s a lot of work to be done on the literacy recovery front in our community. We’re confident this proven tool can help thousands of kids stay on track in reading. This summer is a huge opportunity to help close reading gaps.”  

Providers will be aligning summer services to the Reading Checkup offering everything from parent training sessions, to summer camps, to continued distribution of books and literacy kits to support families in their use of the Reading Checkup at home.  

Read Charlotte is partnering with local community groups to offer support for families using the Reading Checkup resource this summer. Community organizations or companies interested in promoting the Reading Checkup may contact Read Charlotte Communications Manager Elise Esasky at elise@readcharlotte.org for supportive materials. 

On the tutoring front, HELPS Fluency tutors will continue efforts throughout the summer. 300 students were being served, virtually, during the 2020-2021 school year. Typically, the HELPS program breaks until the fall but now aims to serve up to 700 students through August. 

Furthermore, Read Charlotte and the YMCA of Greater Charlotte have partnered to support 14 agencies at 19 locations to serve about 530 Rising K – Rising 5th grade students through Summer Literacy Infusion, which adds at least one hour of literacy per day to traditional summer camps. Participating camps will also receive resources and materials like books and games to help kids keep reading throughout the summer.

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