WHAT WE DOThe Rising Readers program prevents summer reading and learning loss for approximately 300-400 rising first through third grade students in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) who have been identified as Limited English Proficient (LEP). International House, in partnership with CMS, implements this program each summer.
Children of immigrants are a rapidly growing population at CMS. The district serves more than 44,000 students in Mecklenburg County (or 1 in 4 students) whose families do not speak English as a first language at home. Of these students, at least 21, 000 have been identified as being Limited English Proficient (LEP). These students have unique educational needs and are in a race to improve their literacy skills before they fall permanently behind their English-speaking classmates. English Language Learners (ELL) come from 183 countries and speak 197 native languages. Spanish is the most common. At some schools, the population of ELLs exceeds 35% (CMS English Language Learner Services, 2018-2019 fact sheet).
With LEP students facing the lowest graduation rates in CMS (62.8%), Rising Readers is directly addressing one of the largest challenges facing the school system (CMS 2016-2017 Preliminary End-of-Year Results, Media Briefing September 17, 2017). The program is centered around small-group learning, and in 2019 included 48 tutors who worked directly with students under the instruction of experienced CMS teachers. The full-day program is free for all students and features a literacy component in the morning and a science enrichment in the afternoon.
SUMMER LITERACY EDUCATION WAS PROVIDED TO
CMS students since the program’s inception
of students maintained or improved their literacy skills over the six-week program
IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS
staff members contributed their expertise and gained classroom experience.