The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR) recently recognized Read Charlotte as a 2021 Bright Spot community for its response to the COVID crisis last year.
Specifically, CGLR is highlighting communities that developed exemplary or innovative responses to the pandemic, including new or adaptive roles, programs, organizational relationships/collaborations, policies and/or resources.
“We are so proud to be nationally recognized as a 2021 Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Bright Spot for crafting an effective, replication-worthy, and sustainable solution during the COVID crisis,” explained Read Charlotte Executive Director, Munro Richardson.” The Reading Checkup work that is happening across Mecklenburg County is an incredible collaboration between strong partners, funders, leaders and families. We share this honor with them and thank them for their dedication to early literacy.”
Recognizing the seriousness of learning loss during the pandemic, especially for students of color, Read Charlotte launched a reading initiative in June 2020 called Reading Checkup that focuses on building parents’ competency to help develop their children’s reading skills. Reading Checkup helps parents of children in prekindergarten through third grade prioritize activities, based on their children’s reading level, that can be done at home with a smartphone.
Over the past year (April 2020 – April 2021), there have been 3,270 completed Reading Checkups (PreK to third grade) in Mecklenburg County. Furthermore, Read Charlotte and its community partners have distributed 10,602 new and diverse books to children and 2,832 literacy kits for families to use at home with the Reading Checkup activities.
“We applaud the civic leaders and local funders whose time, talent, energy and imagination allowed them to quickly adapt and meet this moment. They truly are ‘bright spots’ and we congratulate them for the differences they’re making. We look forward to learning from their success as we move onto a post-COVID learning environment,” said Ralph Smith, managing director of CGLR.
Launched in 2010, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort of funders, nonprofit partners, business leaders, government agencies, states and communities across the nation to ensure that many more children from low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship. CGLR focuses on promoting early school success as an important building block of more hopeful futures for children in economically challenged families and communities. Since its launch, CGLR has grown to include more than 300 communities, representing 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and two provinces in Canada.
The NC Early Childhood Foundation serves as the state lead for the NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading including 13 communities.