January 8, 2019
Important Update from Reading Partners Charlotte
To the Reading Partners Charlotte community,
Reading Partners has always been and will continue to be committed to providing high-quality, research-validated literacy programs for children in kindergarten through fourth grade across the United States. Since 1999, our organization has brought community volunteers into schools to provide essential one-on-one literacy tutoring that empowers students to succeed in school and beyond.
Reading Partners Charlotte launched its program in January 2016, and through the end of the 2017-18 school year had recruited more than 528 community volunteers, delivered 15,819 tutoring sessions and served 645 struggling readers in seven high-poverty schools. A report summarizing our cumulative (FY16-FY18) impact for the Charlotte region can be found here.
Our student performance results in 2017-18 were dramatic: 91 percent of the students we served in Charlotte met or exceeded their primary end-of-year literacy growth goal. This school year, we are serving 90 students at two of our long-standing partner schools, Oakdale Elementary School and Tuckaseegee Elementary School.
However, with many strong literacy initiatives at work for Charlotte students, we recognize it is important for the community to strike a balance relative to complementary initiatives competing for resources. Therefore, after careful consideration and dialogue with key partners, civic leaders, and stakeholders, we have decided to exit Charlotte at the end of the 2018-19 school year. While we will no longer operate reading centers in the region, we firmly believe in the current focus on early literacy in Charlotte and will continue to serve as an advocate for students.
Reading Partners wishes to thank the hundreds of volunteer tutors, Regional Board members, and funding and community partners for championing this highly effective, evidenced-based program and helping us make a meaningful and measurable difference for our students in Charlotte.
In the interest of finishing this year strong and putting our students on a path to success, we need your continued support. There are still many opportunities to support our work this year. Please contact Reading Partners Charlotte at VolunteerNC@readingpartners.org or (704) 941-0525 for volunteer information. Kamy Taylor, our Charlotte program director, will be serving as the interim executive director through June 2019 as we wrap-up operations.
We believe our work is critically important to creating an equitable and vibrant Charlotte community. Therefore, we are encouraging all Reading Partners’ tutors who are exploring volunteer opportunities for next school year (beginning July 1, 2019) to contact any Charlotte-Mecklenburg School campus directly and inquire about the CMS North Star program. An additional resource is Tutor Charlotte, which also provides reading mentors and tutors at several CMS schools.
Reading Partners has been delighted and honored to serve our students, schools, and the Charlotte community over the past three years. It has been a privilege to help build momentum and contribute to Charlotte’s community wide movement to double the percentage of third-graders reading at grade level by 2025. Thank you for your support of our mission to help ALL students develop the reading skills and confidence they will need to achieve their wildest dreams!
In service and partnership,