What works to improve children’s literacy?

After reviewing over 300 early language and literacy outcomes, the team at Read Charlotte found that the typical early language and literacy intervention adds only 1.6 months of additional growth over routine instructional practices. In search of more effective practices, they scoured more than two dozen online databases and clearinghouses in search of better results. They found five particular practices that move the needle for young readers:


By offering high-quality structured tutoring and training adults to teach specific reading skills, Achieve Now’s core programming features two of the most impactful practices leading to student growth.


Coaching models

We recruit and train volunteer coaches to coach at-need students using our literacy materials one hour per week for the duration of the school year. Coaches work either with a single student or with a small group of similarly assessed students.

one-on-one coaching

On campus sessions take place in one large room or multiple classrooms, with teaching staff, adult volunteers or middle school peer coaches working with younger student learners.

Off-site sessions see students paired with adult volunteers or high school peer coaches. Every coach-student pair works together each week for the whole school year.

Small group instruction

Sessions take place in the classroom, where teachers or teaching assistants such as Supportive Services Assistants or Noon Time Aides, deliver the program to groups of three or four students during rotations within the scheduled literacy block.


How we help

We move schoolchildren, particularly K-2 students, to grade-level reading in an accelerated time frame. We recruit and train adult volunteers and school staff as well as middle and high school students to provide high-quality structured coaching to younger learners. Using our scripted, research-based literacy program, coaches deliver specific reading skills in the form of an explicit, systematic sequence of phonics lessons. 

View the full overview OF how we help >


What we provide


Management of all logistical details including transportation, session schedules, coach-student pairings, seating charts, and inventory upkeep.


Comprehensive training of volunteer coaches to ensure confident program delivery, optimal instruction, and maximum student understanding.


Careful guidance during sessions to deliver coaching tools and share effective strategies for navigating student struggles.


Regular observation of small group coaching sessions accompanied by weekly feedback meetings to offer feedback and present impactful action plans.


Rigorous checks after every lesson to confirm student mastery over each of the program's critical literacy components.


Meticulous tracking of student progress during each session and over the course of the school year.