With over 25 years of business and nonprofit leadership experience, Carol Pierce Goglia has made an impact in Dallas. Now in her role as the president and CEO at Catch Up & Read (catchupandread.org), an organization dedicated to improving literacy and educational outcomes for youth, she’s poised to guide the organization into its next chapter, expanding its reach and strengthening support systems to uplift even more young scholars. Here, she shares more about her passion for empowering youth and communities through the transformative power of reading.
PHOTO BY CAROL VIG PHOTOGRAPHY
What sparked your passion for Catch Up & Read (CAR)? I felt called to CAR for several reasons: 1) I believe that our city’s future lives within our youngest learners; 2) reading is the most foundational skill, a prerequisite for success in school and life; 3) I was compelled by CAR’s model that leverages campus teachers as tutors 4) several current and former board members and investors pointed to CAR’s data-driven model and history of stellar results driving reading gains for students who need it the most.
What makes CAR stand out? CAR is different because of its investment in teachers—giving them deep professional development throughout the year. CAR is also the only after-school program that provides tutoring in both English and Spanish. We believe deeply in the power of literacy to transform lives and communities.
What is the main challenge for CAR at this time? The sheer number of children that are behind. Reflecting on the past few years, it’s clear the pandemic deeply impacted students, especially our most vulnerable children. Also concerning is the widened educational gap for students of color and those in underserved communities. These disparities aren’t just numbers—they represent real children facing trauma, loss and added challenges, which only underscore the dire need for emotionally and academically strategic interventions.
What’s the best advice you have for people who want to help? CAR could not make the difference it does in the lives of children in our community without the support of the community. A gift of just $35 will help teach a child to read! It provides them with one hour of life-changing teacher-led tutoring to begin to help get them on track in their reading.
What is one of the biggest rewards, personally, from being a part of CAR? Hearing from the teachers and parents about the lives that are changed through literacy is truly invigorating.
What’s up next for CAR? Please join us for one or more celebrations in May 2024, which are also the perfect events for an individual, family or organization to sponsor. Think graduation-type events with children crossing the stage proudly wearing large gold medals to signify their reading growth and the parents and grandparents cheering loudly. The year-end celebrations are the epitome of why I believe “CAR” not only stands for Catch Up and Read but also Confidence and Results!