March 17, 2015
Colorado Celebrates Reading Partners Day For The First Time
Governor Hickenlooper’s office officially declared March 2, Reading Partners Day in Colorado. Hickenlooper read a proclamation at Ashley Elementary, on the morning of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2, demonstrating his commitment to early literacy.
Since its inception in 2012, Reading Partners Colorado has been empowering young readers to succeed in the classroom and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring at low-income elementary schools. Each student in the Reading Partners program receives one-on-one tutoring, twice a week, along with one book to take home each week. Take reading home books are key to starting home libraries and engaging families to read together.
In the 2014-15 school year, Reading Partners will recruit more than 900 community volunteers, and will send more than 9,000 books home to over 700 students!
In Colorado, where over 1.2 million residents choose to contribute their time to investing in their local communities each year, volunteers are a formidable force for good (CNCS, 2013). Last school year, in Colorado, our volunteers committed over 15,000 hours of service and Reading Partners’ students on average nearly tripled their rates of learning, with 78% of our students closing the achievement gap with their grade-level peers.
“Volunteers are the cornerstone of a community. At Reading Partners, every day we see amazing things happen when people give a little bit of extra time and energy into their community; it pays huge dividends for our kids. We’re thrilled to be a part of a state-wide movement of volunteerism as well as supporting Colorado kids in moving the needle in literacy proficiency and ensuring more students are reading at grade level. We appreciate the Governor’s declaration that these are priorities in our great state. Together we are creating a great movement: more students reading on grade level and more community members engaged in ensuring every student has access to a great education” – Jessica Simmons, Reading Partners Colorado Executive Director.
We are honored to be a part of the national reading celebrations taking place throughout March, emphasizing the importance of literacy as the foundation of an informed and active society. We hope Reading Partners Day will bring a new awareness of early literacy to Colorado and inspire more individuals to step up and become reading partners.
As Dr. Seuss once said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”