Private Sector Steps In To Increase CMS Reading Scores
Posted Feb 03, 2015
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -
The private sector is putting its money together to improve reading scores in Charlotte - Mecklenburg School District (CMS).
The initiative is called Read Charlotte. Bank of America, The Belk Foundation, CD Spangler Foundation, The Duke Endowment, Duke Energy, Foundation For The Carolinas, PNC Foundation, PwC Charitable Foundation and Wells Fargo are raising $5.5 million to double the proficiency rate.
Only 40% of CMS 3rd graders are on grade level. The goal is to double that number to 80% by 2025. The private sector say these numbers have to improve.
"If you can't read by third grade," Belk Foundation Chair Katie Morris. "You lose confidence. You fail in school and really struggle for the rest of your life. So we don't want that in our community."
CMS leaders are pleased with the partnership and the ambitious goal.
"It's a big goal," CMS Superintendent Ann Clark said. "But I think it's a realistic goal, if we start with intentionality when kids are born."
The initiative calls for developing strategies to promote early language development as soon as kids are born, expand effective Pre-K's and childcare centers that stress reading. Also the money will be used to support teachers and continue to engage students in reading during the summer.
CMS leaders say they couldn't do this assignment about themselves.
"With funds dwindling," CMS Board Chairperson Mary McCray said. "As far as coming in from the state and federal and local - we are going to have to seek other revenues or avenues where we can partner with other groups to make sure that we are doing what's best for the students that we're serving here."
McCray tells WBTV she doesn't mind admitting the school district needs assistance to boost academic achievement.