Read Charlotte announced last Monday that its new initiative, called “Reading Heroes,” will highlight members of the community who are doing extraordinary things to improve children’s literacy from birth through third grade in Charlotte-Mecklenburg.

“Read Charlotte was launched in 2015 as a community-wide effort. In order to double the number of Charlotte-Mecklenburg third graders reading proficiently by 2025, it will truly take the whole community,” explained Read Charlotte Executive Director Munro Richardson. “There are people extremely dedicated to this work. Whether it’s their day job or something they do in their spare time, there are everyday heroes in this community, moving our kids in the right direction, and they deserve to be recognized.”

Reading proficiency at third grade is critical for school, career and life success. Children struggling with reading in third grade are four times more likely to end up dropping out of high school.

Sixty percent of Charlotte’s third graders are not reading at grade level.

“Together, we can make a significant change in our community. Charlotte can be the first major city in the country to have a majority of our third graders reading on grade level. It’s inspiring to see how many people are committing to this. We want to lift them up for the strides they are making,” said Richardson.

Reading Heroes will be selected year round through a nomination process on the Read Charlotte website. Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents are asked to go online and complete the short form to explain how their nominee is making a difference (when it comes to literacy) in the lives of young kids across the county from birth through third grade.

Those selected receive a special Reading Hero t-shirt, recognition letter and digital badge to share on social media. Many heroes will also be featured on Read Charlotte’s website, annual report, newsletter and social media channels.

For more information or to nominate a Reading Hero, CLICK HERE.