What We Do

Read Charlotte is a community initiative that unites families, educators and community partners to improve children’s literacy from birth to third grade. We do not directly operate programs -- our partners run programs. We coordinate, integrate and align people, resources and data, serving as a hub for spokes of advocacy and action, moving all stakeholders in Mecklenburg County toward our defined goal of 80% third grade reading proficiency by 2025.

Read Charlotte focuses both on programs that are used to teach children to read and the systems they are situated in. By “systems” we mean the interactions between people and organizations, the tools and materials they use and the processes by which they come together to do work. Fundamentally, we seek to increase the odds that children read proficiently by third grade regardless of their ZIP code, race, ethnicity or native language by: 


stacking and aligning proven and effective evidence-based strategies


empowering families to support literacy at home


coordinating local funding


improving systems

Our Work

We know it’s not enough to know what works to improve reading. We also must use this knowledge to improve reading outcomes. Thus, we are focused on closing what Jeffrey Pfeffer refers to as the “Knowing-Doing Gap” — turning evidence-based knowledge about how to teach children to read into actions that produce results in the real world. Thus, we also use tools and approaches such as OKRsimprovement science and reliable design to help us execute our work.

Our work today is focused in four areas: 

PreK-3 Instruction

Our focus is building the capacity of adults to meet the individual reading needs of students. This includes instruction they receive in child care programs, elementary classrooms and out-of-school settings. Our approach to instruction is fundamentally grounded in the Four Types of Reading Instruction (link to What We Believe page), an evidence-based framework for providing individualized reading instruction.

Supported Strategies

To be announced in Fall 2021 

Family Supports for Literacy

Our focus is building the capacity of parents and guardians to support children’s language and literacy development at home. Our approach to family supports is fundamentally grounded in the Home Literacy Model, a research-based framework that tells us what actions families can take to improve early literacy outcomes.

Supported Strategies

Reach Out and Read, Ready4K, Home Reading Helper, Reading Checkup, Going to K

High-Quality Targeted Tutoring

We support targeted reading interventions that meet the individual needs of students. We particularly focus on evidence-based interventions that help children with both code-focused (word reading) and meaning-focused (vocabulary and comprehension) skill development —  phonics tutoring, fluency tutoring and shared reading.

Supported Strategies

Sound Partners, Augustine Literacy Project, HELPS and Active Reading.


Summer Learning

We support partners and initiatives that promote summer reading and learning. The goal is to mitigate summer learning loss in all cases and, where possible, to help children make gains over summer months. Our focus is both on supporting specific practices as well as increasing the reach and quality of the overall summer learning system.

Supported strategies: Summer Literacy Infusion, Reading Checkup and many summer learning partners.

Supported Strategies

Summer Literacy Infusion, Reading Checkup and many summer learning partners.

What We Do

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