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TACKLING ILLITERACY
Building reading proficiency empowers  
low-income students in Charlotte


Join Munro Richardson and MeckMin for a discussion on the importance of literacy. “Literacy is a bridge from misery to hope,” Kofi Annan said. “It is a tool for daily life in modern society.”

Richardson is executive director of Read Charlotte, a community initiative that brings  families, educators and community partners together to improve children’s literacy from birth to third grade. Their goal is to double reading proficiency from 39 percent to 80 percent. That’s important because research shows that reading proficiency at third grade is a critical predictor of school, career and life success. Children who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. In fact, according to Boyer, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, “There is almost a 90 percent probability that a child will remain a poor reader at the end of the fourth grade if the child is a poor reader at the end of first grade.”
Being proficient readers not only lay the foundation for at-risk children’s academic success, it helps them  overcome the challenges they face in everyday life. It builds confidence, improves decision making skills, and transform their lives in myriad ways. Nelson Mandela was right: “Education is he most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Munro holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, master’s degrees from both Harvard University and Oxford University (where he was a Rhodes Scholar), and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois.


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15Mar