Mecklenburg County/Charlotte, North Carolina
The GLR Campaign recognizes Mecklenburg County/Charlotte (Read Charlotte), North Carolina, as a 2016 Pacesetter for its exemplary community-wide mobilization, cross-sector collaboration and strong funder coalition as well as for its careful efforts to align and stack proven programs and practices.
Read Charlotte undertook an ambitious effort to develop its Strategic Action Plan that involved the engagement of 40 content experts, educators and citizens as well as the results from 3,000 surveys of parents, educators and students. Its plan was grounded in a set of eight research-based indicators that predict third-grade reading outcomes with practices/programs that show evidence of moving the needle (Raising A Reader and Reach Out and Read are the two anchor programs). Even more impressive is the fact that during the planning process Read Charlotte made presentations and sought input from 80 community groups throughout the city and created four Action Learning Teams to lead the way on Active Reading, Summer Reading, Family Engagement and Kindergarten Success. The campaign’s well-developed funder coalition has committed nearly $4 million for Read Charlotte’s efforts over the next five years and pioneered the establishment of a $2.5 million Transformation Fund to seed new ideas and address unmet needs.
It also formed a new group of Strategic Co-Funders from 35 philanthropic organizations to get regular input on improving third-grade reading.