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December 30, 2012

Barry Bonds Foundation Supports Reading Partners

Barry Bonds Family Foundation and Reading Partners Announce Collaboration to Improve Childhood Literacy in Oakland

Home Run King’s Foundation Spotlights Highly-Effective Literacy Intervention Program

Oakland, CA-The Barry Bonds Family Foundation and national education nonprofit Reading Partners announced today a collaboration to improve Oakland students’ literacy skills. The partnership will focus on expanding access to Reading Partners’ literacy program, which pairs students reading below grade level with volunteer literacy tutors in one-on-one sessions, by recruiting approximately 500 tutors to reach over 400 East Bay students by the end of 2013. “As a professional athlete, I have had to read, analyze and ultimately modify many types of written contracts. So, I know first-hand the importance of ‘reading, literacy and comprehension’ to leading a productive and rewarding life-a life where you can have a positive impact on your community and on those you love most, your family,” said Barry Bonds. “I have been blessed to pass this gift on to my children and to children within my community. In my humble opinion, there is no greater purpose in life.  By supporting Reading Partners I am helping others to fulfill this ‘greater purpose.'”

“Literacy is the gateway to economic and social empowerment for those in our community that have been or are at-risk of being left behind,” said Michael Lombardo, CEO of Reading Partners. “The Barry Bonds Family Foundation’s support and collaboration is a commitment to improving the lives of students, their families, and their communities, and will enable us to bring our life-changing program to more students in the Bay, unlocking the door to a brighter future.”

In California, only one in four students can read proficiently by the fourth grade. A recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found that students not reading proficiently by the fourth grade are four times less likely to graduate on time than students reading at grade level. In the 2011-12 school year, Reading Partners provided volunteer-driven individualized instruction to over 1,700 students from 33 schools throughout the Bay Area. Nationally, the organization operates in 103 schools, serving 4,355 students in Kindergarten through fifth grade. Reading Partners sees demonstrable results in the reading skills of students in its program. In the 2011-12 school year, 89 percent of students accelerated their progress in reading. Before enrollment last year, Reading Partners students gained an average of only 0.6 months of reading skills for every month in the classroom. By the end of the year with Reading Partners, our students gained an average of 1.6 months of reading skills per month, more than doubling their rate of learning and catching up to their on-grade peers.

About The Barry Bonds Family Foundation The Barry Bonds Family Foundation is a private foundation founded in 1993 by former San Francisco Giants Major League Baseball Player and seven-time MVP, Barry Bonds. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, the foundation’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for innovation in the areas of primary and secondary education and youth after-school support programs within low-income communities – both in the San Francisco Bay area and throughout the nation. The foundation uses the principles of “venture philanthropy” to encourage, promote and fund programs designed to improve the achievements, standard of living and quality of life conditions for those who have been left behind. Through signature programs such as Link ‘N Learn, the foundation has partnered with community leaders to implement technology-based solutions driven by benchmarks and measurable results.

About Reading Partners Reading Partners is a national nonprofit that provides volunteer-led, one-on-one literacy tutoring to K-5 students at low-income elementary schools. Reading Partners has an 89% success rate improving students’ reading skills. At each school site, Reading Partners transforms a dedicated space into a reading center and recruits a corps of 40-100 community volunteers who work directly with students. Volunteers are trained and supported by site coordinators to use a highly structured and research-validated curriculum to work one-on-one with students who have fallen behind in reading.

To learn more, visit
Media Contact: Joe Ventura / (510) 830-3035 /

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