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September 10, 2018

Read Charlotte Launches HomeReadingHelper.org

Charlotte, N.C. (September 10, 2018) – Read Charlotte announced Monday that a new website called Home Reading Helper is now available for families looking for ways to help their children learn to read at home. The site was especially developed for Charlotte-Mecklenburg parents/guardians to find free, easy-to-use resources, all in one place.

A 2016 National Parent Survey by the national nonprofit ZERO TO THREE found that over half of U.S. parents would like special websites dedicated to helping them be successful parents. However, parents reported they were generally underwhelmed by the quality of the information they found online. Focus groups conducted by Read Charlotte in Fall 2017 with families in Charlotte-Mecklenburg found that there was no one, easy-to-use resource that parents reported using to know what to do at home to help their children learn to read.

“We know it is the combination of what happens at school and at home that grows a proficient reader. We put in over 1,000 hours of research to find the best strategies to help more kids read proficiently by the end of third grade,” explains Read Charlotte Executive Director Munro Richardson. “We know that families best complement the efforts of our hard-working classroom teachers when they are empowered with the right information and resources to support their children’s reading development at home. We aim to fill a significant gap with HomeReadingHelper.org.”

Home Reading Helper spans PreK through third grade, offering age-based and skill-based easy-to-use information, videos, games, home activities and more. With the tagline, Your Child’s Success Starts With You, it aims to give busy parents exactly what they need to boost reading skills at home, as well as resources for families who might be unsure of where to turn if they have a struggling reader. Plus, the site is enabled with Google’s machine language translation abilities so that the website’s text and video subtitles can be translated on the fly into nearly 100 additional languages.

Local Charlotte-Mecklenburg families participated in user testing this summer, providing great insight to strengthen the resource before the September launch.

“I appreciate this site for filling a void that I struggled with as I taught my child to read. Moving forward, we will most definitely be using Home Reading Helper. It’s so easy to navigate,” says Shakara A., a parent from Reedy Creek Elementary.

HomeReadingHelper.org is funded through grants from Read Charlotte’s Transformation Fund and Wells Fargo. In support of Read Charlotte’s goal of doubling the percentage of third grade students reading on grade level by 2025, the organization’s Transformation Fund promotes innovation, collaboration, and seeds new programs to address unmet early literacy needs across Mecklenburg County.

Any organization, company or CMS school interested in promoting Home Reading Helper to local families this fall can reach out to Elise Esasky (elise@readcharlotte.org) for more information and supportive materials.

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