CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Students in North Carolina are struggling with reading, and a group is coming to their aid. 

The Augustine Literacy Project is working to close the reading gap in the state.

Despite spending more than $150 million toward fixing the problem, close to half of the state’s students are still struggling. Data shows only 46% of North Carolina's third through eighth grade students are reading on grade level. 

What You Need To Know

  • Augutine Literacy Project offers free tutoring to low-income students

  • Tutors undergo 60 hours of training

  • Less than half of state's third through eight graders read on grade level, data shows

With the Augustine Literacy Project, tutors undergo 60 hours of training and serve low-income families by offering free tutoring. 

Kathy Graham is one of those tutors. She says she struggled with reading as a child and after spending years in the education field, she recognizes the importance of developing strong reading skills at a young age. 

“The farther behind kids get, the harder it is for them to catch up. So, if we can help them out when they’re younger and get them reading on grade level by third grade, the trajectory of where they’re going there’s just so much more opportunity," Graham said. 

Tutors spend at least four weeks with students working on spelling, reading, comprehension and pronunciation. 

"When he sounds out the first and then the second and third and you see his face light up, it is tremendous,” Graham said.

The state has a goal of improving reading proficiency by 2025 through various initiatives and programs. 

Click here to learn more about getting involved in the project.