September is National Literacy Month

September 2023

September is all about celebrating literacy! It's easy - pick up a book and explore where it takes you! Raising awareness and interest in improving literacy in our community has a positive ripple effect. In honor of National Literacy Month, continue reading to learn more about the importance of early literacy, plus find resources for parents and caregivers to help children develop a love and a habit for reading.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) found that children who were read to are more likely to count to 20 or higher and write their own names than children who were not.

The Challenge

First, children must learn to read so that they can read to learn. Yet, many families do not realize that language and literacy skills begin early, years before entering kindergarten.

How We Help

Children thrive when they have access to great picture books and a caring adult to read with them. That's why Smart Start offers parents access to children's books and practical tips. This helps caregivers create loving everyday moments.

Resources for Parents & Caregiver



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  • Start building good reading habits today by clicking the age-specific reading tips provided by Dolly Parton's Imagination Library. If you don't already receive free books monthly from this book-gifting program, you can sign up your eligible child aged 0-4 years living in Mecklenburg County here.
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  • Receive age-appropriate facts and tips weekly to help prepare your child for kindergarten by signing up for Ready4K - a research-based text-messaging program for parents with young children. Charlotte families currently receive messages in English, Spanish, Arabic, Burmese, and Russian.

Raising A Reader - YouTube

  • Raising a Reader promotes literacy between parents and children. Explore reading tips and downloadable resources here.

Community Children's Reading Initiative | Read Charlotte
  •  Reading together can be done anywhere, at any time. Explore reading tips provided by Read Charlotte for children ages birth to five and discover ways to read together that work for your family!

  • Studies show that 80 percent of brain growth happens by age three. The Basics principle of Read and Discuss Stories reminds families to make reading a part of your relationship with your baby from the beginning. Click here to download the tip sheet for parents and caregivers.