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Reading Partners

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult & Child Matching Programs, Children & Youth, Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: We envision a future in which all children in this nation have the reading skills they need to reach their full potential. Reading Partners is committed to helping children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results.

Results: Reading Partners is focused on data and results. We are dedicated to ensuring that every investment made in the success of our students leads to a measurable increase in reading skills. During the 2015-16 school year: • 77% of students accelerated their progress in reading. • 97% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school. • 96% of volunteers are satisfied with their experience. • 86% of principals noted school-wide progress in reading.

Target demographics: students who are reading six months to two-and-a-half years below grade level

Geographic areas served: low-income schools across the country

Programs: We recruit and train community volunteers to work one-on-one with students by following a structured, research-based curriculum.

Community Stories

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Gale3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past two years, I have been a volunteer reading tutor for Reading Partners. It's been a very rewarding experience. The Reading Partners curriculum is thoughtful, easy to follow, and effective. With modest training, I have been able to implement the curriculum and see the reading progress of my students. I also appreciate the support of the Reading Partners site coordinator at the school where I volunteer. She is encouraging, knowledgeable, and seemed to know all the children.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having been involved in education as a school administrator, education attorney, state legislator, and school board member, it is exciting to see an evidence-based program like Reading Partners that is making strong, measurable gains in closing the early childhood reading proficiency gap. It is an excellent example of a scalable, cost-efficient program that can make a significant impact on the academic success of the students who participate and it also makes for such a rewarding experience for the volunteers who sign-up to help the students. I have had the opportunity to serve as a volunteer Reading Partners' tutor and to also observe the program first-hand in a number of different cities across the country, and I was so impressed with the gains being made at every Reading Partners' school site I visited.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am grateful to have been a volunteer tutor and a site coordinator for the past 2 years. What I love about Reading Partners is that they are dedicated to creating lifelong readers. With their high quality program and easy to follow curriculum it has been proven that it works.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very excited to start volunteering for Reading Partners. Reading Partners works to raise the literacy rates of children within our communities. I cant think of a better way to give back than to ensure that our future generations have the necessary skills and confidence to better their lives.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Reading Partners is dedicated to providing a high quality and high impact program for community volunteers and students --and Reading Partners succeeds!

Donor

Rating: 5

Reading Partners stands out amongst a vanguard of nonprofits working to eliminate the literacy achievement gap. Their scalable program is opening opportunities for thousands of students across the country. An investment in Reading Partners goes a long way -- students more than double their rate of learning while in the program which sets them up for success in school and life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While I have only been tutoring a short while, I already look forward to my tutoring session every week. My student is so excited to learn and she shows me every week that she wants to succeed. I'm thrilled to see that with each session she is building confidence. It's hard to imagine what my student would do without Reading Partners.

I HIGHLY recommend this program as a volunteer opportunity. I was nervous to start at first but could not be happier now that I am a reading partner.

The program is made all the better by it's evidence based curriculum and close monitoring of students' progress. Reading Partners truly works!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Reading Partners is an amazing program that targets the critical stage in reading between K-3rd grade where once you fall behind it becomes extremely hard to succeed in future grades, in high school and further in life. The tutors are a joy to watch, working one-on-one with students teaching them the joy of reading and exciting the students to no end. What a joy to watch children find happiness in learning.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have watched Reading Partners in Charleston, SC transform kids' behavior and their ability to read. They significantly decrease the achievement gap. My most memorable moment is having a student who would barely speak to me my first day of tutoring turn into a talkative and confident young lady by the end of the year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Tutoring with Reading Partners has shown me that I can make a difference is as little as an hour each week. As a tutor, I get the opportunity be a role model for my student, and I love seeing her smile every day when I show up at her classroom for our session. It feels so great to be able to help her understand what we're reading each day, and watch her begin to figure out problems on her own. She also gets so excited when she gets to take a book home each week, which is a really special experience.

I chose to do my AmeriCorps year of service with Reading Partners because I wanted to truly make a difference for struggling students. I think literacy is such an important part of a student's educational experience, and opens doors for them in other subjects in school. Reading Partners gives students a chance to accelerate their learning, and I'm grateful to be a part of that process!

Cielo C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a tutor for the past year, and it's the best part of my week. It's really easy to get started. The are all laid out for you, which is great and helpful since I don't have a background in teaching. I can see my student improve with each lesson. It's a fantastic program!

Karen301

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a very beneficial program for the elementary aged students who are taking advantage of the Reading Partners tutoring. My daughter loves being a tutor for Reading Partners and is so excited to see the excellent progress her students have been making since joining the program. We need more programs like these to boost the education our children are receiving. More parents and other students should sign up and give our children the best education possible! Karen

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am proud to be on the National Board of Reading Partners. Everyday across the country Reading Partners gives children the lifelong gift of reading. The one-on-one tutoring model not only is an excellent teaching tool but gives the students access to an adult role model. The investment of time and resources in Reading Partners creates an infinite return!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a tutor at Reading Partners for about a year now and I absolutely love it! The greatest thing about Reading Partners is that their content material is so specific and easy for the tutor to follow. While tutoring, I truly feel that the student I tutor is understanding what I teach them because of this specific content material. I tutor for Reading Partners in Washington, DC and even tutoring one student for three months I saw a major difference in his reading level, he brought his reading level up one grade level. Reading Partners is helping make a difference in low-income communities to students who need the help and who through Reading Partners get that help.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a tutor for Reading Partners it's awesome to be able to see the impact they make first hand. One on one tutoring is essential when kids are trying gain reading skills to keep up with their grade level. Reading Partners' volunteer program is incredibly organized and efficient.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have witness the joy of a 3rd grader who has learned how to read thanks to the work of Reading Partners. Reading Partners is unique in that it partners with schools, brings in a platoon of volunteer tutors, teaches children how to read based on a reading curriculum, and achieves measurable results. It is a great way to leverage the volunteer spirit in this country to help children learn how to read. It is a fact that if children fall behind their peers in reading at an early age they never catch up and their chances for success are significantly limited. The great thing about Reading Partners is that it works. Reading Partners quantifies the success of its students. But still, behind the numbers, there is no better evidence of success than the smile of an 8 year old or 9 year old who realizes they've got it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To see marked improvements in a child's confidence and attitude towards learning is invaluable. Reading Partners is life changing for students and tutors alike.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading Partners has definitely changed my life! I see myself as an agent for change as well as working in the public sector forever. I have seen my student transform from a timid individual to an optimistic and confident student. At first, my student struggled to read basic words and as a result, spoke as little as he could. However, in just a few weeks, we were able to bond over things we had in common. He warmed up to me as soon as he saw that I wasn't necessarily playing a teacher role, but was an adult ally determined to make us succeed. I say us because I learned from him as much as he learned from me. Additionally, I really like how Reading Partners trains and recruits community volunteers (of all ages and stages) on the easy-to-follow Reading Partners curriculum. I really could not have done it without the support of the other volunteers and my site coordinator always willing to help!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been very impressed with this organization. The quality of the staff I've met is great and the training they offer is very helpful. The curriculum is well put together and they make it easy for people who want to volunteer, but have busy schedules. Your time commitment can be as little as 45 minutes a week, but you feel like you are actually making a difference in a child's life. I am able to do this before I go to work in the mornings. I have done a lot of volunteering and worked in the schools for years, and I like what I see here. My volunteering is in Redwood City.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Reading Partners seems to be one of the better run Americorps program because there are adequate checks and balances built into the system, solid administrative structure, decent training, reasonable hours, and accountability maybe not just on paper. The idea of enhancing reading opportunities in urban areas seems nice. The curricula is well-designed, but there should be more flexibility with regard to implementation. RP's hiring practices seems to favor upper middle income white (and male) students. There are few minorities hired to work for Reading Partners, and this also was reflected at the charter school setting I volunteered at this year.

As to why the numbers of charter schools are skyrocketing , rife unemployment, and growing gaps between rich and poor at a time when multinational financiers are reaping record profits with the need for tax write-offs via charities...sadly or ironically, it actually justifies Reading Partners in order to alleviate the burdens of over-sized classrooms or the newbie mostly young white teachers hired via Teach for America or other skeletal recruitment programs. So, for instance, at the most recent charter school I volunteered at, over 80% of their staff were under thirty and inexperienced, and yes, age and race discrimination seemed pretty obvious, they being all mostly white and under thirty. It makes you feel that they cannot consider someone as old and overqualified as me to work there, such a crying shame, so it seems there is a lot of initial built-in rigidity with regard to hiring practices.

If you are an experienced older worker, you may not enjoy being a cog in the wheel for a younger person who strikes you as sort of a blockhead typecast wannabee unconscious authoritarian, but then again, there is some enjoyment in watching the students enjoy reading on their own. Keep repeating that last phrase like a mantra to yourself, especially if you are in the education field and underemployed. (Incidentally or not, it was a 100% black student body for vanilla chocolate creme cookie snapshot of the staff/student/auxiliary ratios).

Regarding employment, RP uses Job Score, a cheesy virtual placement firm, to help sort through the masses of applications. Again, it seems mostly about age, race, connections, and check-off criteria, how that computerized routine works. Don't count on being hired to work for them, and if you are selected, well great, welcome to the Elect.

Lois B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I tutor once a week in an Oakland, CA public school and find that the curriculum is easy to work with. The staff are very friendly and helpful. It's wonderful to see my student making progress and really improving her reading skills. I love what Reading Partners is doing to help the various struggling readers around the country.