Jake House, CEO of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County, is interviewed by Ed Billick and Sharon Thorsland, hosts of WBT’s Carolina Focus on March 28, 2021.

During this podcast, you’ll learn Smart Start of Mecklenburg County and Read Charlotte are announcing a partnership called Ready4K which provides a free texting service to more families with children ages 0- 5 in Mecklenburg County.

Ready4K is a unique, evidence-based texting service designed to support the growth and development of children. Families receive age-appropriate texts to their phones with tips and ideas for supporting their child’s development through everyday activities. Stanford University researchers found the Ready4K approach increased family involvement both at home and in school, resulting in literacy gains of two to three months for preschool-aged children.

In a survey of families receiving Ready4K texts through Read Charlotte, 97% of respondents said that parents’ relationships with their children were stronger after doing Ready4K activities. An example text may be “Tip: When you’re in the kitchen, hunt for the first letter of your child’s name on boxes and labels. Who can find it first? Can your child find all of the letters?”

“The texts are extremely helpful. They provide valuable information for the growth and development of my children. I am grateful for them all, “explained a family receiving the texts through Read Charlotte last year.

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County mobilizes resources, forges partnerships, and supports families to improve early childhood health, education and development and ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Smart Start of Mecklenburg County’s four areas of focus are early care and education quality and accessibility, family support, health, and early literacy for children birth to five.

Read Charlotte is a collaborative, community-wide initiative to double the percentage of third-grade students reading at grade level from 39% in 2015 to 80% by 2025. Focusing on the continuum from birth through third grade, Read Charlotte builds collaborative partnerships and provides resources on proven practices and/or programs. For more information, visit www.readcharlotte.org.



Ready to Enroll in Ready4K?

Families of children ages 0- 5 years old in Mecklenburg County can text SSMC to 70138.