In Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, students with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) face the lowest graduation rates.
95% of 1st – 3rd grade LEP students in Rising Readers maintained or improved their literacy skills.
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In 2020, 63% of LEP students graduated with their peers in CMS, while at a state level, 71.4% of LEP students graduated.
The Rising Readers six-week summer program takes place at three schools in CMS, a district that is home to more than 30,000 language minority students. In summer 2019, intensive literacy instruction was given to more than 370 low-income LEP elementary students who were performing below grade level and at great risk for summer learning loss.
Rising Readers’ lead teachers, who are from CMS, and tutors, who are mostly undergraduate or graduate education students, work with students in groups of three or four. The program takes place at three CMS schools, each of which has a permanent site coordinator who knows the students. Rising Readers' uses an evidence-based curriculum designed for English as a Second Language (ESL) students that incorporates the EL curriculum that CMS introduced in Fall 2019.
“We saw a gap in summer learning opportunities for young kids who tend to not speak English at home,” said Autumn Weil, Executive Director of International House, regarding the founding of Rising Readers in 2010. The program has grown from originally serving 36 students to serving 372 in 2019. The program recently expanded from half-day to full-day.
Since 2011, The Belk Foundation has invested $480,000 in International House Rising Readers.