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December 10, 2015

Reading Partners expands to Charlotte, names Sharon Harrington to head operations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 10, 2015

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Sharon Harrington, (704)-618-4398, sharon.harrington@readingpartners.org

Reading Partners expands to Charlotte, names Sharon Harrington to head operations

(Charlotte, North Carolina) December 10, 2015 —– Reading Partners, a national nonprofit that mobilizes community volunteers to provide individualized literacy tutoring to elementary school students, is expanding operations to North Carolina with the launch of Reading Partners Charlotte. Since 1997, the literacy organization has provided proven, volunteer-led, one-on-one reading support to under-resourced elementary students. Reading Partners Charlotte expects to serve at least 80 students in 4 schools in Charlotte starting in January, 2016. Reading Partners is working to recruit and train over 110 community volunteers to support its evidence-based program. Its expansion to North Carolina is in partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools and made possible by generous support from The Duke Endowment.

“North Carolina is tremendously civic-minded and committed to building stronger communities. We look forward to working in partnership with community members and partner organizations to help raise reading achievement.“ says Reading Partners CEO Michael Lombardo.

According to 2014 statistics from the North Carolina Department of Education, fewer than one in five Charlotte third-graders meet key benchmarks for success in reading and reading comprehension. Reading Partners collaborates with Charlotte school districts, as well as other local nonprofit organizations, in a combined effort to ensure more students reach grade-level reading proficiency.

Proven, non-profit leader to oversee operations

Sharon Harrington has been named executive director of Reading Partners Charlotte and will direct its operations. She joins the organization from Johnson C. Smith University, where she served as Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement.

“Sharon’s combination of extensive development, policy and volunteer experience with mission-driven organizations is ideal as we launch Reading Partners in Charlotte,” notes Lombardo. “She will be instrumental in helping us build strong partnerships with education, service and funding communities committed to raising the achievement of students who struggle with reading.”

“All students in North Carolina have the potential to be strong, confident readers. Reading proficiency is the critical first step on the path to future educational success,” says Harrington. “Reading Partners has a tremendous track record and a proven, evidence-based curriculum that will make a meaningful and measurable difference for our students in Charlotte.”

Reading Partners Charlotte is looking for volunteers to commit an hour or more per week to work individually with students who struggle with reading. To learn more, email volunteerNC@readingpartners.org

About Reading Partners:

Reading Partners will provide individualized literacy tutoring to more than 11,000 elementary school students in more than 200 schools in low-income communities across ten states and the District of Columbia this upcoming school year. The nonprofit organization delivers a highly effective, evidence-based program that has helped tens of thousands of children master the fundamental reading skills they need to succeed in school and beyond. Visit readingpartners.org, and connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

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