My name is Sumithra Ravisunder and I was a former volunteer of this reading program through Qualcomm Inc.
When I first came to know about the program at Qualcomm, I was a bit skeptical about how a few reading lessons alone could improve a kid's ability to read so drastically- however, this was before I started volunteering for the program working with the kids themselves.
Through reading to these kids I realized it required a lot of patience at first to be able to guide those that are in need of help. In fact it took a lot to not get frustrated during the process, but as I saw the kids grow in their ability to read, I witnessed my perseverance paying off firsthand.
I will forever be grateful for the Reading Partners Program as I found a way to combine my love for children with the desire to make a difference in their lives along with finding a way to give back to my community.
I hope to continue with this program and this time, to be able to collaborate with the leadership and the Board soon. I will hope to serve as an advocate to the working and the aspiring community that I am affiliated with to the best of my ability.
Last but not the least, as a working mother to 2 children, I hope this will also inspire them to give back the privilege of education to the kids who need it.
I will be looking forward to make a difference once again, at a higher level.
I have attached my picture (from Qualcomm premise) for reference. Just for more context, I volunteered at the Sunnyvale Americorps facility and later volunteered at the San Jose facility.
As a school principal, having Reading Partners on my campus transformed how we intervene for students who struggle in reading. The one on one tutoring moved my students to grade level quickly! And bonus for the school... the program runs itself!
Reading Partners program works - I've been a tutor for three years and I have really enjoyed the experience
Reading Partners is a wonderful organization! They provide one on one tutoring to K-4th grade students using their own interactive and effective curriculum. I have volunteered with the organization for the past three years. I was really impressed with how quickly they were able to move their curriculum to a virtual platform when the pandemic hit. They are extremely innovative and responsive to the needs of the students they work with. I have also been pleased with the trainings they provide volunteers and their emphasis on the importance of centering race equity, trauma-informed practices, and social-emotional learning.
I became a Reading Partners tutor after volunteering as a mentor in a local elementary school. As a mentor, I learned that most of the 3rd-5th grade students in this school were reading at a K level, so it was clear that they needed reading tutoring more than mentoring. I sought a tutoring program to join, and found Reading Partners. The Reading Partners program is carefully designed with a structured curriculum that is easy for volunteers to use and is highly effective at teaching students to read.
I love volunteering with Reading Partners. The reading center is always so colorful and well organized. My students love coming and the lessons are easy to use and it’s so rewarding to see your students grow in their skills. I love how funny and unique each of my students are. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the program staff here in the Twin Cities. I wish every school had a Reading Partners program!
This will be my 6th year volunteering with Reading Partners, and I hope I have many more. One cannot underestimate the impact this organization and its staff and volunteers have on children. The one-on-one instruction is invaluable to kids who may otherwise get lost in the shuffle in a regular classroom. The enthusiasm I continually see as they choose their books to read in class, or take home, warms the heart, and is evidence that Reading Partners is making a difference. The structure of the lessons provides me and the kids with goals every week. One year I had a boy who was very fidgety, and could not keep still. He was very smart, and loved coming to class. At times, he would be break dancing on the floor, but never missed a beat in answering a question. He was a delight!
I have been a tutor now for two years, and am looking forward to testing out the online tutoring platform in the COVID world. I really appreciate how easy it is to follow along with the curriculum and know i'm delivering a high quality learning experience for the student. My favorite part is after a few sessions, the students start to remind me what's next in the lesson..and share more and more about their favorite books or things they've learned.
I love tutoring with Reading Partners. Every week I meet with my student, we spend a little time catching up. I hear about the weekend, classroom, or family. Then, dive into our lessons. The curriculum is so user friendly and really works as I have seen growth year after year with each of my students. The school is an easy 5 min drive from my office and I love knowing that once a week I will pause from my work and spend time reading with my Reading Partner!
Reading Partners' program is so impactful! As someone with limited experience tutoring in the classroom, I was a little nervous to tutor at first, but the curriculum and lessons are so structured and well-thought out. It really makes it easy for anyone from the community to make a difference in the life of a child. It is wonderful to see students open up and have the "aha!" moment as they are reading. It is easy to see how the program sets up students for success and a lifelong love of reading.
As I connected with my first grade student last year, I was thrilled to watch him begin to open up to the possibilities of the strength and freedom that will belong to him when he can read fluently. I watched him come alive when he discovered his interest in books about animals and nature. I watched him absorb, analyze and draw insightful, correct conclusions about what we read together. I watched that interest fuel his effort to learn the skills he needs. I watched his quiet, fierce pride as he took possession of new vocabulary words and new ideas. I watched his eagerness to extend our session (into his lunch period) when he couldn't wait to finish a book. And on a day when a fire drill interrupted our lesson, I heard his disappointment when he told me the break had "wasted our time" together. What a privilege. What a joy. What an honor to be part of an organization that changes lives so profoundly.
I've been working with Reading Partners for the past three years. It's such a fantastic organization with a great mission - to help improve children's literacy -- and it really works. To see the spark get lit in a young child and to help them overcome reading challenges is really rewarding as a volunteer, and really has made a difference in the lives of so many deserving kids. I love this organization.
I have been a volunteer with Reading Partners since the 2014-15 school year and cannot say enough about the quality of the experience for myself and, more importantly, the students I've tutored over the years (in both the Seattle and Baltimore regions). The program is exceptionally well organized, easy to follow, and led by incredible AmeriCorps site coordinators and an expert program management team. Reading Partners lessons are designed with students in mind - lessons meet the students exactly where they are at and they are student paced. Lessons are also engaging, culturally relevant, and comprehensive (they cover everything from phonics, to vocabularly, to comprehension). Every reading center I've tutored at has been such a nurturing and inclusive space where students have been encouraged and celebrated. Tutoring has always been the best and most impactful hour of my week!
I have tutored with Reading Partners for 5 years and every student I have tutored has left an indelible imprint on my life. There is no doubt that volunteer tutors are providing valuable support to thousands of Reading Partners students across the country, but it is also true that the volunteers are receiving just as much (if not more) in many cases. Reading Partners provides an important and highly meaningful volunteer experience and I would encourage others to get involved as it will change your life for the better.
Reading Partners set me on my career trajectory!
I served as a Reading Partners AmeriCorps member for two years. I worked one-on-one with students in the classroom, training community volunteers, and learned how to foster great relationships. While doing that, I watched my students thrive! Whether mastering phonemic awareness or gaining confidence in one's own abilities, there is no greater feeling than seeing a child flourish.
Reading Partners brings great value to the communities it serves and and spark lasting change!
Tutoring with Reading Partners is an incredible experience. The curriculum is very structured and easy to use, which is especially important to me as I don't have teaching experience and never tutored before.
After finishing up a tutoring session, the student walked over to a classroom binder to gave themselves a gold star in multiple skills-based and behavioral categories; they looked to me for reassurance that they could in-fact place a star in these areas. It was obvious they were proud of the work they had just accomplished, achieved or deepen skills in that session, and believed in themselves. It was really rewarding to see. Additionally, the student sais goodby to the AmeriCorps site coordinator by saying, "Bye, Ma. Have a good day!" When walking the student back to their classroom, they explained that the site coordinator really cared and was always fun. From just this lone experience, it is clear that the Reading Partners program helped boost students both personally & academically.
Meeting with my student during the school year is the best part of my week! All of my students over the past 6 years have been so fun to work with, each motivated, intelligent, and unique in their own ways. The program is organized, well run, and effective. I have no prior teaching experience but feel confident to effectively deliver the structured curriculum. Last year, I watched my student gain confidence as he reached each new milestone, the most significant being reclassification from ELL.
As a 7 year volunteer for Reading Partners Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to work with first and second grade students and seen in incredible academic growth as a result of this program. I have had my daughters, cousin and friends volunteer as well. My work for Reading Partners has been incredibly rewarding and enjoyable!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reading Partners is dedicated to providing a high quality and high impact program for community volunteers and students --and Reading Partners succeeds!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
I retired from full time teaching and wanted to stay involved in education. Reading partners gives me that opportunity. I am able to use my expertise and knowledge to help students I work with. I have seen students grow and teachers are appreciative of the extra help that is given.
Reading Partners has a great model for partnering with schools and engaging significant numbers of volunteers in improving kids' reading skills. The curriculum takes tutors and students step-by-step through learning to read and improving their comprehension, based on staff assessment of the student's current reading skills. As I am not a teacher by training, I have really appreciated the curriculum and the support the staff provide. Volunteers work one-on-one with the same student each week during the school year, and I am grateful to have come to know some of these students.
I am a volunteer tutor in Santa Clara CA and a Silicon Valley Board Member for a year now. I became involved with Reading Partners after learning about their evidence-based curriculum and demonstrated success improving students reading skills. Last year I worked with a 3rd grader once a week for 45 minutes. She was pretty shy, but it didn't take long for her to open up, gain confidence, and take more academic risks.
RP is a great organization!
I've been a tutor with Reading Partners for the last 7 years. I've stayed involved for so long because they do such a great job helping students learn to read. The curriculum is excellent, they are very considerate of tutors' time and they do a terrific job measuring the students' progress so you know you're making a difference. I joined their Silicon Valley board last year and am excited to be part of helping this great program expand.
I have been volunteering with Reading Partners for about 6 months. I absolutely adore this program. Not only is it a great resource for kids who are falling behind, it's also an awesome volunteer opportunity for adults who are VERY busy. I'm an entrepreneur, and although my work schedule is flexible, I still don't have a lot of hours per week to devote to volunteer work. My weekly commitment to Reading Partners is exactly TWO hours, including the drive! And for that small amount of time, I'm making a HUGE difference in the life of a child.
When I first joined Reading Partners, I expected to find students who were resistant to learning and annoyed by having to participate in the program. Never in a million years did I think I would see kids excitedly running to join us, eager to give up their recess and time with friends to have the one-on-one attention of a tutor. It's an amazing program, and I highly recommend it.
I have been volunteering with Reading Partners at an elementary school in Mountain View for the past three years. It matches adult volunteer tutors with children who are about a grade behind in their reading skills. Most of the children served are English language learners. It has a well thought through curriculum, combining books and worksheets, with a lot of supporting material in the reading center so tutors can mix things up, using games, flash cards, books, white boards for writing, and so on. Younger children are typically worked on a basic reading course, from alphabet to phonics, while the younger children are working on comprehension. The program does not believe that being able simply to read the words is enough. Children learn to retell stories, identify characters/settings, pick out story morals and so on. One weakness is that the center directors typically change every year because they are drawn from Americorps. That said, the center directors seem to get good support from the organization and are very helpful in suggesting new approaches with the kids.
I have been working with Reading Partners for a full year. I have found them to be extremely dedicated people. They have good resources and very good people.
Reading Partners provides a very thorough training for those that believe reading is a must to a successful life. I firmly believe that this organization will reach many children that would otherwise be left far behind. With the school funding not being able to provide anything extra, this program gives schools anotoher option to service their students. Everyone at Reading Partners has been positive and definitely have a passion for this very important need. I have had a wonderful experience so far with this organization.
I've been a tutor at Reading Partners for 3 years and have had nothing but great experiences. The program is well organized and has a curriculum that makes me feel like I'm making a difference each time I tutor. Space in the program is limited so kids who participate are there because they really want to learn. And the staff is organized and helpful. I highly recommend this program.
I completed 1 school year as a tutor with YES Reading, now known as Reading Partners and have found it a very well run, supportive program bringing value to both students and their teachers. I have "re-enlisted" to continue working with 2 students/week for this coming school year. The particular staff I had the privilege to be in contact with bent over backwards to make sure that I had all the training and materials necessary to assist my students.
Turtoring one on one with a struggling school child brings such joy into my life! As I work together with the child, I love to watch eyes sparkle, smiles spread across the face as we work together to learn to love reading. I view my role as not only to teach the mechanics but also the joy of reading as new worlds open up through books. Part of my role, I believe, is to be a cheerleader and talk about college to encourage high expectations. And, of course, together we develop a friendship as we joke together and share stories. One girl told me she loved Fridays because that was the day we read together. This made my heart sing! And that is why Reading Partners not only helps the child, but also the school and all of society as we help children succeed. It is the best thing I have ever done, other than raising my own children. Judie Fernandez, Menlo Park, CA tutor at Castro School, Mt. View, CA