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November 17, 2023

Reading Partners Baltimore Statement on Maryland’s New Literacy Initiative

Zenobia Judd-Williams, the executive director of Reading Partners Baltimore, issued the following statement today after the Maryland Accountability & Implementation Board created a team of literacy experts to improve reading instruction across all school districts in the state:

“At Reading Partners, we believe reading is a civil right and that all students can accomplish incredible achievements with access to the educational resources and opportunities they deserve.

“Today’s decision to provide every school district in Maryland with literacy experts who will support the continuous improvement of reading instruction is a significant step toward providing students with the opportunities to succeed in school today and in the future.

“We know that the ability to read transforms lives and empowers children and families to thrive. Children will love reading when they are empowered and when they have been taught in a structured way that explicitly teaches the breadth of literacy skills needed to engage with and comprehend books they love. That empowerment also requires culturally responsive, caring support. Programs like Reading Partners, whose tutors work directly with students and provide individualized literacy instruction with measurable results, play an important role in supplementing schools’ literacy instruction and helping students master the reading fundamentals they need to reach grade level.

“We are committed to providing children access to the best instruction and tutoring available. We look forward to working with our partners in Baltimore City to ensure children have access to their civil rights to become confident readers.”

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About Reading Partners

For nearly 25 years, Reading Partners has helped empower students to succeed in school and beyond by engaging community volunteers to provide proven, one-on-one literacy tutoring. Since its founding, the national nonprofit organization has mobilized over 80,000 community volunteers to provide more than 2.7 million individualized literacy tutoring sessions to more than 75,000 elementary school students in over 500 under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia.

In Baltimore, Reading Partners provided 6,031 tutoring sessions to students across 14 Baltimore schools during the 2022 – 2023 school year.

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