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November 17, 2015

Giving the gift of reading

For kids who struggle with reading, there is no greater gift than having an ally in learning — someone to advocate for them and who is committed to helping them learn to read.

Falling behind in reading can be an embarrassing and challenging obstacle for kids to overcome, and that’s why Reading Partners means so much to students who are struggling with reading. Take Niko for example.

As a fourth grader, Niko once saw reading as a major challenge and barrier to success. He had lost interest and confidence in his ability to excel in school after falling behind in reading. Then came Reading Partners.

At first, the sessions were challenging for both Niko and his reading partner, Reggie. Niko refused to participate in sessions and had outbursts that made tutoring nearly impossible. He was resistant to learning and was embarrassed to read.

But, Reggie didn’t give up, and as he returned week after week, Niko began to trust him. As their relationship deepened, Niko looked forward to his time with Reggie, and his behavior improved in the reading center and in his classroom. He even started coming to the reading center after school to help organize the room and take books home!

Niko’s behavior, confidence, and skills completely transformed. By the end of the year, Niko was asking complex questions about the text he read: he had made big improvements in reading comprehension. He had also formed a strong bond with Reggie, his reading partner, who he so enjoyed spending time with.

Learning to read is no small feat, and for students who face other barriers to learning, it can seem almost impossible to become a strong, confident reader. But the pay off is well worth it.

Across the country, thousands of student-tutor pairs like Niko and Reggie are making strides toward grade-level reading. We hope you will give the gift of reading before the year ends by making a contribution to Reading Partners and showing our students that their reading education matters.

Here’s the impact your donation can make.

Giving Tuesday infographic

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