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February 28, 2019

2nd ANNUAL “COMMIT TO 80” CAMPAIGN AIMS TO ENGAGE THOUSANDS IN EARLY LITERACY WORK

Charlotte, N.C. (February 27, 2019) –Read Charlotte’s annual push to activate and align the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community launches next week. The organization’s “Commit to 80” campaign aims to not only raise awareness of the critical importance of children’s literacy, but to also encourage everyone in Mecklenburg County to commit to the community goal of reaching 80% third grade reading proficiency by carrying out specific, evidence-based practices and strategies.

The entire community is being asked to make a pledge (March 6-20) and practice that commitment throughout the year, whether it’s at home, in a school, or with a work or community group.

“Read Charlotte was launched in 2015 as a community-wide effort to change the alarming statistic that only 39% of third graders were reading proficiently,” says Executive Director Munro Richardson. “We have to band together, each playing our part, if we want to move the needle for kids in our community. ‘Commit To 80’ gives us all that opportunity to plug in.”

Reading proficiency at third grade is vital for school, career and life success. Children struggling with reading in third grade are four times more likely to end up dropping out of high school, as this is the pivotal moment in children’s education when they’re expected to shift from learning to read to reading to learn. 

“We spent the first two years digging into the research and finding what works to grow strong readers between birth and third grade,” explains Richardson. “We are more encouraged than ever as early literacy work is beginning to align across the county. We are working alongside dozens of community partners and have seen families, faith-based organizations, school leaders, businesses and other providers step up in a very big way. If this continues at scale, the opportunity for children across our community will be boundless.”

The “Commit to 80” campaign targets families and caregivers at home and in child care programs, volunteers and partners in schools, professionals at work, as well as various community and faith-based groups, all in an effort to educate and increase engagement around what works to improve early language and literacy.

Visit CommitTo80.org to learn more about how to get involved and to make a pledge via the online commitment form.