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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Reading Works Inc

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Adult Education, Education

Mission: Can you imagine what life would be like if you could not recite the alphabet or recognize the letters in your name? What if your spouse had a heart attack and you could not call 911 because you did not speak English? These are not hypotheticals but real stories. Reading Works’ mission: Empower adults with the literacy and language skills they need to participate fully and effectively in work, civic life and community. To meet our mission, we rely on the help of community volunteers.

Results: Last programming year 93% of our clients reported real life changes as a result of participating in literacy programs. Accomplishments: voting, US Citizenship, getting a job, learning survival English, learning how to use a computer, reading a book for the very first time.

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

Direct beneficiaries per year: 198

Geographic areas served: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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

Community Stories

7 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



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.

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.


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


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.


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.


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

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.