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December 3, 2012

Reading Partners Launches New Reading Center

Reading Partners Launches New Reading Center at San Jose Unified School District’s Lowell Elementary School

The national childhood literacy program now serves 101 schools and provides one-on-one reading tutoring to nearly 5,000 students in 7 states.

Oakland, CA – December 3, 2012 – Reading Partners, a national education nonprofit that started in Silicon Valley, announced the launch of its newest Reading Center today at Lowell Elementary School in San Jose. The new center is the nonprofit’s 101st school site, and will serve approximately 60 students who are between 6 months and 2.5 years behind in reading.

San Jose Unified Superintendent Dr. Vince Matthews joined Reading Partners CEO to announce the launch. City Councilmembers Sam Liccardo, SJUSD School Board Member, and Sunnyvale Superintendent Binjamin Picard were also in attendance. The event celebrated students, school partners and key supporters. Target and the Sobrato Family Foundation, two of the organization’s financial supporters, also attended the event.

“Our program at Lowell Elementary is off to a great start with already 67 students enrolled and this celebration event was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the work of our students and community,” said Reading Partners CEO Michael Lombardo. “The collaboration of our partners who have come together to make this happen is truly remarkable.”

Working in schools in low-income communities, Reading Partners transforms an empty classroom into a Reading Center, complete with a library and teaching tools managed by a full-time staff member. Reading Partners collaborates with teachers and principals to identify students reading behind grade level, and provide them personalized literacy instruction. Reading Partners recruits and trains community volunteers to provide weekly one-on-one literacy tutoring using its research-based curriculum, a series of structured lesson plans that progress from phonics instructions for younger students to higher order comprehension strategies for older students.

In Silicon Valley, Reading Partners mobilizes over a thousand volunteers to work with more than 900 struggling readers in 18 elementary schools.

Whether a child can read proficiently in elementary school is a key predictor of future life prospects and children in Silicon Valley are being left behind. 90% of low-income fourth-graders in California are reading below grade level.

About Reading Partners

Reading Partners, launched in the Silicon Valley in 1999, works with elementary schools to provide twice-a-week, one-on-one tutoring to students who have fallen behind in reading. This past school year we recruited and trained more than 5,000 volunteers who gave over 100,000 hours to tutor our students and we had an 89% success rate increasing students’ rate of learning.  Learn more at

Media Contact: Joe Ventura / (510) 830-3035 /

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