About Us

The world is an amazing place, and young children are curious about all of it. How can they express that curiosity? With words!

Children who know and use more words while they are very young learn to read more easily and have greater academic success than those who don’t. Get Ready with Words sets children up for lifelong literacy through a vocabulary-building program for children under 5. Get Ready with Words instructors facilitate activities in the Grier Heights and Montclaire South neighborhoods of Charlotte, North Carolina, where they introduce new words each week through science, literacy and art activities that caregivers and children do together. All the activities Get Ready with Words instructors use can be easily replicated at home, and this website is designed for families everywhere to follow along.

Get Ready With Words is a collaboration between Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Community School of the Arts and Discovery Place, and it is made possible through a Grow Up Great grant from PNC Foundation. An emphasis of the Grow Up Great initiative is to help children from birth to age 5 prepare for school. Research shows that a lag in vocabulary puts children at an academic disadvantage before they even enter a classroom.

Get Ready With Words provides tools for caregivers to promote vocabulary development at home, so children are prepared to succeed in kindergarten and beyond.

Strategies to Build Vocabulary

  • Repetition is fundamental. In our program, children encounter the same words through different activities.
  • Context helps children connect words to make meaning. We introduce words through stories, songs, science, art and active exploration so children experience words in many ways.
  • Knowledge networks organize words into categories, to help children’s reasoning and overall comprehension. We cluster new words in familiar groups, to help children make connections to what they already know.
  • Words of the week are introduced simply and explored through activities. The combination of explicit and implicit instruction reinforces learning.

Get Ready in Two Languages

Get Ready with Words is presented in English and Spanish, so children develop new concepts in a context familiar to both kids and caregivers. We encourage caregivers to use their home language for literacy skills, because concepts learned in a child’s native language are transferred as they learn English.



PNC – Grow Up Great

Through PNC Grow Up Great, PNC has been a consistent voice for the importance of quality early childhood education — awarding grants, championing the cause, supporting the creation of educational resources, and volunteering. Our strategy is guided by an advisory council comprised of the foremost authorities in the field.

Discovery Place

Discovery Place, Inc. is a private 501c(3) not-for-profit education organization dedicated to inspiring exploration of the natural and social world through extraordinary exhibitions and educational programs that inform, challenge and engage audiences of all ages.

Community School of the Arts

Community School of the Arts envisions a future in which Charlotte leads the nation in making outstanding arts instruction available to all children. CSA demonstrates daily that arts education transforms the human spirit and improves our region’s quality of life.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library began more than a century ago as a treasured repository of knowledge. Although people have evolved to read, explore and acquire knowledge in many new ways, one important feature has endured: our services remain free to all who come to us with a desire to research, learn and experience.

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