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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Reading Works Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Education, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement

Mission: Reading Works is an adult literacy program. Our mission is to empower adults with the literacy and language skills they need to participate fully and effectively in work, civic life and community. Trained volunteers provide one-on-one and small group tutoring to adults in reading, writing, and English as a Second Language (ESL). We also provide computer skill classes. Our services are free, and students do not pay for books, materials or supplies. The Library of Congress recognized Reading Works as a 2017 Best Practices in Literacy Honoree, one of 18 programs from six countries honored.

Results: We make a real change in people's lives. They get jobs or better jobs. Learn life skills. Read to children. Speak English in a business or medical setting. Enroll in community college classes.

Target demographics: Non-Literate and Low-Literate Adults — Women — Immigrants — Low Income

Direct beneficiaries per year: 200

Geographic areas served: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Programs: Free tutoring to adults in reading and writing, English as a Second Language, math, computer skills.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer tutor for Reading Works for nearly two years, I can honestly say that this organization provides an immeasurable service to our community. The training and ongoing workshops for tutors are immensely helpful. And the resources and encouragement afforded to the adult learners are truly remarkable. It is an honor to be affiliated with this organization.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading Works prepared me so thoroughly to become a volunteer tutor. Ive had the same student for 9 months; RW materials and tutor guidance was so fantastic that my student made incredible progress in a short time. She entered as ESL and is now at 6th grade level, preparing for her high school equivalency test! This is by far one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Reading Works about 10 months ago and it has been a highly positive, rewarding experience. The staff, volunteers, and students are all on the same page and communication is always emphasized. This organization changes lives and I am proud to be a small part of it.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Reading Works just received an innovation grant from the National Literacy Directory in recognition of its writing program New Words. New Words is a creative writing project where our students write about about their lives and communities. Student writings are published in a newspaper.

The grant is designed to recognize and reward innovative literacy and education programs that are finding solutions to persistent challenges.

The National Literacy Directory is a joint effort of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, the National Center for Families Learning and ProLiteracy. The National Literacy Directory contains over 7,000 educational agencies located across the United States.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve volunteered with Reading Works since November 2015 when I began training to tutor clients in basic literacy as well as ESL. As with many of the tutors, I didn’t come to Reading Works with teaching experience, so the training got me off to a good start. The office staff manages a library of wonderful resources, and if I find something I like but they don’t have, they buy it. Even more importantly, if I have trouble finding just the right resource, they will find something that works for me and my client. They provide ongoing training, and more experienced tutors are always willing to share ideas that work for them.
I’ve enjoyed working with the clients and have learned as much from them as they have from me. Reading Works’ client-centered approach to learning works! My client’s family has gushed about her improvement, and my client has told me that she now argues with them in English. She also handles business that her husband used to handle. Clients are tested every six months by the Reading Works staff. This feedback is so important. Even though I notice the improvement during our meetings, it’s nice to have validation that your client has increased one or even two levels.
In addition to tutoring, I put together the client-generated newsletter. Their articles touch me in so many ways. They make me laugh and cry and think! Plus, other tutors have told me that their clients love seeing their words in print.
All in all, volunteering with Reading Works has been a wonderful experience.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've had the privilege of working with this organization for the past 6 years. With a staff of two and a tribe of dedicated volunteers, it's incredible what can be accomplished when you love what you do and who you serve.
Our students come to Reading Works to move beyond boundaries or a stigmatization created sometimes by themselves, but more often by society. It is the gift of time, for which all of our tutors give freely, that our students build confidence, find a voice, teach their children and advocate for their communities.
It gives me pleasure knowing the combined efforts of our skilled staff, resourceful board, gracious volunteers and industrious students, have created an organization that helps people be the image of themselves, that they've always dreamed of becoming.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've recently started working with Reading Works and by far, I'm amazed at the level of commitment shown by the volunteers and the acting Executive Director. She goes above and beyond to keep this program afloat through generous donations and teaching tutor instruction classes on her free weekends. It's inspiring to be in the presence of someone who is so committed to making change in peoples' . Thank you for keeping the space.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a tutor at Reading Works for nearly two years and have enjoyed working with my assigned students! My current student has improved her reading comprehension skills, has enrolled in community college, and is working on learning pre-algebra. The training and support I've received from Reading Works staff has made all the difference in my student's successful learning. I'm so thankful our community has such an effective adult literacy program!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I tutored a woman in reading, writing, and speaking English for a year and a half, and as a result she was able to pass the U.S. citizenship test. She was thrilled, and so was I. She then got a better job. It wouldn't have happened without Reading Works, which supported us every step of the way. Their training, materials, and encouragement were invaluable.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading Works is a 2017 Library of Congress Honoree for Best Practices in Literacy.Begun in 2013, the Literacy Awards honor organizations working to promote literacy and reading in the United States and worldwide. The awards recognize groups doing exemplary, innovative and replicable work, and they spotlight the need for the global community to unite in striving for universal literacy. Fifteen programs from the United States, Canada, Vietnam, Australia, and Indonesia were named Honorees.

Donor

Rating: 5

The work that these volunteers do expands exponentially when you consider how just teaching one person to read transmits to more and more people reading. And everyone knows what happens in a world where knowledge is spread freely!!! Thank you for doing such an invaluable job!!

Vicky K.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After attending the annual fundraiser for this organization I am so impressed with the hard work and fabulous results this group has shown. They are a group of highly engaged individuals who are making big strides in the local community by giving the gift of reading to adults. One young woman was able to acquire her GED and continue with her studies which was bound to be passed along to her children.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a tutor with Reading Works for four years, and I can attest that it is making a big difference in our community, which has an very high rate of illiteracy. I watched my learner progress from reading at a second grade level to reading at a fifth grade level. When he was able to go to the doctor's office and fill out the paperwork without assistance, he felt enormous pride and accomplishment. And as his tutor, I felt very happy for and proud of him.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer tutor for Reading Works for almost three years. I have been working with the same learner for the entire time, and it has been so rewarding to see how far he's come. My learner and I owe much of his success to the tremendous support system created by Reading Works. Their training sessions for tutors are interesting and extremely helpful. They provide an excellent array of teaching materials and workshops, and they are always coming up with new and interesting ways to help our learners in their quest for literacy. I would not be able to be an effective tutor without them!

bobship10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer tutor and Board member, Reading Works has offered a consistent and stimulating string of challenging opportunities for personal growth and gratification. Along with our other tutors and Board members we experience the satisfaction of helping adults (and their families) move from the fringes of our community closer to the mainstream as they gain self-confidence and joy in learning.

Robert Shipley

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Last year I began tutoring a young man to help him pass the GED written tests--he had already failed the reading and writing portions. After a lot of practice with sample essays he took the tests again and passed. That allowed him to enter college, which he did.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading Works provides 1:1 tutoring to adults who live in our community.Their needs range from Basic Literacy to Math and computer literacy as well as ESL. Some of the students have been able to get job promotions or US citizenship or read books to their children or grandchildren. It is a much needed service and all of the tutors are volunteers with generous hearts!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Reading Works, Inc. is an asset to our community by readying students to take the GED or to pass the Naturalization test for citizenship or to read to their children.

Board Member

Rating: 4

I am honored to be associated with Reading Works. They are providing an effective solution to a significant problem in the community, and as a result they are changing people's lives. Reading Works provides a caring environment, free from judgment, allowing students to meet their literacy goals. The one-on-one tutoring sessions provide personalized instruction, which is a large part of both the students' and Reading Works' success. Each benchmark that students achieve enhances their contribution to their familial, economic, and social responsibilities. This has a dynamic effect, which is becoming apparent within the community they serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Board is dedicated to the mission of increasing adult literacy. They are so appreciative of volunteer support. By helping one person at a time, they are making a difference in the Albuquerque community.

____711

Board Member

Rating: 5

For donors: Reading Works is a United Way Community Fund agency. When you are looking for a non-profit investment, this means something. Nonprofit programs supported by the Community Fund have been carefully vetted by the community to ensure dollars:

• benefit the most vulnerable in our four-county area.

• support programs with specific, measurable, and attainable goals.

• address needs that are critical and data-informed.

• support work that is not duplicated in its outreach area.

• foster collaboration.

• support effective and efficient programs with excellent track records.

• support programs that are sustainable and of good financial health.

• support best practices.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

I support Reading Works because one way to improve our educational system is to ensure that parents of school-age children have the skills needed to engage with their children and schools in the educational process. Parents who cannot read and write at a level above their children aren't able to support their child's learning, have trouble connecting with teachers regarding their child's education, and frequently miss out on crucial communications from the school.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became connected with Reading Works in March 2013. I am continually amazed with the passion of not only my fellow board members but the passion our volunteers have for the clients they interact with. Each Reading Works client has a unique story and it is awesome to see these clients able to achieve their goals. Reading Works is a life changing organization I am proud to be associated with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started with Reading Works in August of this year. I received their training and was connected with a student. He is a very hard working person who works and has a 12 year old child. Here is a person trying to improve his reading ability. He is a great example for his son and the community.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Reading Works is a AWESOME non- profit agency that helps adults with literacy. I have been a student for two years. When I came to the program I knew I needed to improve my reading skills and writing skills. I have a dream that one day I'll be working in a field that I love which happens to be the medical field. I thank god that Reading Works is around. Reading Works changed my life by providing me with a tutor that would assist me in accomplishing my goal which is to learn how to read. I continue to work with my tutor once a week to improve my reading and writing skills." 1 out of 5 New Mexicans can't read."

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic group and I am very glad to have gotten the opportunity to be a volunteer ESL tutor with them. I really enjoy working with the person from Uganda who is trying to improve his ability to more naturally speak English.
The chance I have received from Reading Works to be a volunteer ESL tutor is priceless ans am very glad that I have discovered the group and am able to be a volunteer with them

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading Works is a wonderful family of volunteers. They do a lot of tremendous work for the community of Albuquerque. I began volunteered with them and they sent me to training, taught me everything I needed to know, and put me with an adult ESL learner that worked out great. They really helped me capitalize on my passion for teaching and I'm greatly indebted to them. I'm now a certified ESL volunteer tutor and am so grateful. Thank you for everything!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience as a tutor has been very positive. My student seems to greatly appreciate a chance to improve his literacy. He is motivated to learn even though he has some disabilities. We both enjoy the tutor sessions. Being a literacy coach has been very stimulating for me as a tutor and enriches my life to deal with the challenges of helping my student improve his literacy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Reading Works basic literacy tutor for over two years. The service this organization provides is desperately needed. I' m proud to be a part of this organization, so much that I not only tutor but look for any opportunity to contribute financially. It is a professionally run organization with both the needs of the students and of the tutors in mind. RW leadership also focuses on reaching out to the community and to other agencies and organizations with related missions to better leverage limited resources. The initial training I received, the frequent tutor workshops, and the resource materials available help me provide better help for my student. I can't say enough about the students who work so hard to improve their reading and writing ability. I so admire their dedication and hard work even though they have jobs, families and other responsibilities.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a tutor for almost 2 years. I find this experience extremely rewarding. Reading Works serves a very critical and urgent need in the community, particularly given the importance of literacy and education in this difficult job market. The organization is well run on a very limited budget. The importance of funding and maintaining the facility on Anderson St. SE cannot be emphasized enough. Personally I find it a safe and convenient place to meet for tutoring. One key benefit of tutoring at the Reading Works office is accessibility to readily available resources, e.g., expertise, computers, books and other teaching materials.

Yvonne C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a tutor for Reading Works since it began. This is a wonderful organization, offering personalized tutoring in various aspects of adult literacy, and I know that as a result of our services, many lives have been changed for the better. When we have more literate individuals in our community, and more with their GED or more who have become fluent in English, we have a richer and stronger community. The lives of our volunteer tutors have also become richer through the opportunity to give back what others have so generously given us.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer tutor for Reading Works for three years. During this time I have been able to prepare a student to pass the GED, and am working with learning-disabled student, helping her to find meaning from what she reads. Reading Works provides generous support to volunteers and learners alike: For the tutors, in addition to a wide variety of teaching materials, it offers regular workshops and even individual advice when needed. For ESL students Reading Works hosts conversation groups to give them an opportunity to practice their new language skills. Learners on the waiting list for a regular tutor are provided interim tutoring to get the process started and to avoid the discouragement learners may feel while they're waiting for a permanent asignment. Reading Works has contributed greatly to our community and deserves all the support it can get!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having known about Reading Works since it began, I started volunteering as an ESL tutor when I retired in June 2012. Although I expected to only work with a couple of students, my involvement has grown. I have been tutoring an Intermediate group of 10-12 parents at a local middle school and helping support two other volunteers at the same school. In the last 11 months, our one site has grown from 6 total students to 20 students and a waiting list. During this time, Reading Works has supported the other tutors and me unconditionally and is constantly recruiting students who need our services. Any time I have asked if I could do something new, the answer is always "Of course! Let us know how it works!" This is an amazing organization which changes the lives of real people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a tutor for Reading Works for more than three years, working with four female ESL students. Their accomplishments are many, but include employment promotions, getting a driver's license, library cards, and two students are able to engage in English classes at the community college. Reading Works is a dynamic organization which provides tutors with continuous support, training and learning materials. As a member of the board, I can attest to the commitment of its members and their desire to help Reading Works grow in its ability to serve the community.

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

For almost two years now I've been a reading tutor, computer applications teacher and Board member of Reading Works, Inc., in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The stimulating and gratifying opportunities for both learner and volunteer seem to be endless. The more I involve myself, the more ideas I get to enhance our program. The next big challenge for the staff and opportunities for the learners will be our upgraded computer lab, which will enable our clients to learn the latest computer skills as well as practice the GED tests.

I feel that the support our volunteers get from the Board and staff make giving our time and talent just about the best use of my energy, bar none.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading Works is a terrific organization and I have enjoyed serving as a tutor. They offer very thorough and enjoyable training for new volunteers, and are there to support tutors and students through every step. They have a great library and resource center that has everything necessary for tutors and students to succeed.

Retired and Loving it

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a new tutor for math. I'm currently helping two students to obtain their GED certificates. Both students are in their 30s and have made a commitment to better themselves by obtaining their GED. I admire their desire to work hard in adulthood to make up for past missteps. I'm glad to be helping them and glad that an organization like Reading Works exists to facilitate a connection between volunteers and students in the community. I am a retired civil engineer and I've always wanted to be a teacher so this work is a great fit. From what I've seen so far, the organization is superb and hard working. It's truly a joy to be associated with Reading Works.

MagB

Board Member

Rating: 5

Reading Works just completed a programming year. We served 130 individuals.

Our programming goals for the fiscal year beginning on July 1 are
* serve 200 people
* expand our ESL classes for immigrant parents of middle school children
* form a partnership with the Asian Family Center
* institute a reading for pleasure program
* revise our GED curriculum to address the changes in the GED test which will be launched in January 2014.

Reading Works is a good investment for a donor. 81% of our budget for 2013-2014 is allocated to programming. Our clients make real life changes like U.S. citizenship, getting a job, advancing in employment, learning literacy and English survival skills, and enrolling in community college or university classes.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Reading Works is a community based adult literacy program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Its mission is to empower adults with the literacy and language skills they need to participate fully and effectively in work, civic life and community. Reading Works provides free one-on-one and small group instruction in reading and writing; English as a Second Language; GED preparation; math; computer skills. Reading Works is especially effective in community outreach — providing services at middle schools, half-way houses, and domestic violence shelters. Reading Works is young — our budget is small — 84% of our expenses are program related — last year 58 volunteers served 131 people. Our clients make great improvements in their lives: get jobs, advance in employment, learn essential banking skills, pass the GED exam, enroll in community college or training courses, read to their children, use the library for the first time.

2 Daina S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Reading Works fills a great need in Albuquerque. According to the New Mexico Coalition for Literacy, nearly half of the state's adults - 46% - are either illiterate or functionally illiterate! Reading Works helps provide solutions to this seemingly insurmountable problem by providing tutors, reading materials, valuable resources and a committed, wonderful staff for those in need. It not only assists learners, but provides great support and training to the tutors. As a volunteer tutor, I'm impressed by their mission and dedication and believe that I've benefited as much, if not more, than my learners.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Reading Works has been helping me for about three years. By reading and spelling and learning the meaning of certain words, I've read about eight books, which I haven't read in about twenty years. Thanks.