Read Charlotte is a ten-year (2015-2025) community initiative that unites families, educators and community partners to improve children’s literacy from birth through third grade. Our goal is to double the percentage of third graders reading on grade level from 39% in 2015 to 80% by 2025. If children can’t read well, they lose confidence, fail in school, and struggle in life.
Read Charlotte does not directly operate programs, but coordinates, integrates and aligns people, resources and data to improve children’s literacy, striving to help the entire system excel at moving children down the Reading Success Pathway and scaling what works across Mecklenburg County. We seek to increase the odds that children read proficiently by third grade by (1) stacking and aligning evidence-based interventions, (2) empowering families to support literacy at home, (3) coordinating local funding, (4) improving systems and (5) building school networks to move the needle at five critical leverage points:
At Kindergarten Entry
Letter knowledge and phonemic awareness at Kindergarten entry are the greatest academic predictors of how well children will do in reading in the first two years of school. Our birth-to-five efforts are focused on helping children develop critical language and early literacy skills so that they are ready to learn to read when they start school.
By End of Kindergarten
Children who are behind in letter knowledge and grade-level phonics at the end of Kindergarten will most likely be behind in reading at the end of first grade. Our efforts are focused on empowering families to support literacy at home and fill in critical gaps for Kindergarteners.
By End of First Grade
Only about 10% of children who are behind in reading (letter knowledge and grade level phonics) will catch up in reading by the end of third grade. Our efforts are focused on empowering families to support literacy at home and helping students master grade level phonics by the end of first grade.
By End of Second Grade
Children who can read a Level M book at about 124 words correct per minute are generally on track for third grade reading proficiency. Our efforts are focused on empowering families to support literacy at home and helping students master grade-level phonics and build their reading fluency by the end of second grade.
By End of Third Grade
Children who read proficiently by end of third grade have a 96% chance of graduating high school on time. Children from low-income homes also benefit from reading proficiency by third grade; they have an 89% chance of graduating high school on time. Our efforts are focused on empowering families to support literacy at home and helping targeted students build their reading fluency by the end of third grade.
We all share a part in providing all children across our community a fair chance to learn to read well by third grade. Together we can help rewrite the future for the next generation of Charlotteans.