Preview comments from virtual presentation about literacy

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 23, 2021

Don Flow, Kelly King, Tricia McManus and other community leaders featured

WINSTON-SALEM — Read Write Spell will present a community update called Rise & Read about the state of literacy in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 29. The presentation lasts approximately 30 minutes and will be presented virtually due to lingering concerns related to the pandemic.

A not-for-profit organization based in Winston-Salem, Read Write Spell leverages the power of community volunteers to provide free, long-term, one-to-one reading instruction to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools students who struggle with literacy skills.

Read Write Spell shared a preview of comments from two community leaders who will be featured in the September 29 presentation.

“Right here in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, we have a crisis — 48% of third graders are not proficient in reading,” Kelly King said. “While literacy means a person can read a book or write a letter, the significance of being able to write extends far beyond the obvious. It’s the difference between emotional and intellectual wellbeing and a person’s ability to achieve a fulfilling adult life.”

“It is extremely difficult for a young person who is born into poverty to escape poverty in Winston-Salem,” Don Flow said. “If you look at the social determinants associated with poverty, whether it’s healthcare access, food, safety, transportation, jobs and housing, nothing’s more important than education. And the key to education today begins with the capacity to read.”

Joining King and Flow in the presentation is Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Tricia McManus, Read Write Spell Executive Director Esharan Monroe-Johnson, Read Write Spell Advisory Board member and volunteer tutor Sharon Ralston and a student who benefited from tutoring provided by Read Write Spell.

To register for Read Write Spell’s September 29 virtual event, go to

Building on the premise that literacy is essential for individual and community success, Read Write Spell works to ensure that every child in Forsyth County learns to read. The organization’s research-based approach is scientifically proven to be more effective and for more children, than traditional literacy instruction. For more information, go to