December 22, 2016
Schools and communities unite in Charlotte
Since our founding in January 2016, Reading Partners Charlotte has been welcomed into the local educational landscape and has forged new relationships with partners in the community. One of the most exciting elements of the Reading Partners program is seeing how communities and schools can join together to support student growth. In celebration of our one-year anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on three exceptional community partnerships that are making a difference for students in Charlotte.
Sugar Creek Charter School is a special place to have a reading center. With strong leadership and student advocacy, we are proud to be a part of this educational community. And we aren’t the only ones to take notice that something special is happening here.
Sugar Creek was recently featured in The Charlotte Observer as a strong charter school which serves 1,400 students who are from diverse backgrounds and low-income families. The school’s director, Cheryl Turner, encourages students and staff members to rise above the challenges of circumstance through the pursuit of education. Turner believes that “good education is the answer to the world’s problems.” Reading Partners Charlotte is fully on board with this philosophy and continues to support students in first and second grades with the ability, one-on-one tutoring, and fortitude to read on grade level. Our hope is to be valiant in solving this problem hand-in-hand with incredible local schools.
2. Joining of forces at Tuckaseegee Elementary
In working with one of our newer schools, Tuckaseegee Elementary School, we have formed strategic partnerships with local churches, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. We’ve also collaborated with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Grant Innovation team and school staff who aspire to make a difference educationally to benefit students and families. This effort has created volunteer awareness and grant development possibilities in support of Reading Partners Charlotte.
Additionally, this partnership enables us to assist in the school’s overall programming needs including education, family engagement, and cultural appreciation. We are appreciative of the dynamic attributes of this partnership with Tuckaseegee Elementary for the betterment of this community.
3. Read Charlotte to advance literacy education
Read Charlotte “is a community-wide movement dedicated to doubling the percentage of third graders reading at grade level by 2025.” Presently, 40 percent of students in third grade are reading at grade level. The goal is to get to 80 percent proficiency. Read Charlotte has come up with four focus areas to increase the effectiveness of their efforts. Focus areas include:
- Active reading with children
- Kindergarten readiness
- Summer learning
- Family engagement
Action learning teams have been formed, bringing together nonprofits and corporate organizations, to formulate and implement innovative programming ideas to bring literature into areas of the city that are deficient in books—also known as book deserts.
Reading Partners Charlotte is serving on the Active Reading Learning Team and will help support and gather information during a 100-day challenge beginning in January 2017 with other community supporters. With new insight and learnings, we look forward to sharing our findings which will grow and develop our continued initiatives at Reading Partners.
We are truly fortunate to partner with Sugar Creek Charter School, Tuckaseegee Elementary School, and Read Charlotte and to highlight their endeavors. As a collective unit, we stand to make a difference and to hopefully change the perspective of Charlotte through reading, literacy, education, and enhanced resources.