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October 27, 2022

With National Reading Scores on the Decline, Reading Partners Awarded $250,000 to Develop and Scale High-Impact Tutoring Model to Boost Academic Achievement for All Students


Michael Todd

National senior director of marketing & communications

Reading Partners

(415) 225-9139 |

With National Reading Scores on the Decline, Reading Partners Awarded $250,000 to Develop and Scale High-Impact Tutoring Model to Boost Academic Achievement for All Students

Following Competitive Process, Reading Partners Selected to Join National Community of Practice, Build Evidence Base for Cost-Effective, Sustainable Learning Solutions

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 27, 2022)–In the immediate wake of the release of concerning national literacy scores, Reading Partners, a national literacy nonprofit that empowers students to succeed in reading and beyond by engaging community volunteers to provide high-impact one-on-one tutoring, today announced it has been awarded $250,000 in competitive grant funding.

Grant funding will contribute to Reading Partners’ broader literacy research efforts. Reading Partners will contract with a third-party evaluation team to conduct a randomized controlled trial to examine the impact of Reading Partners Connects, the online version of its widely researched in-person tutoring program. Reading Partners plans to expand literacy tutoring to thousands of students through both in-person and online tutoring.

The award, presented by nonprofit organization Accelerate, is part of a national effort to develop and scale sustainable, cost-effective models for high-impact tutoring that boost academic achievement for all students.

“We are excited to be part of Accelerate’s new initiative to embed high-impact tutoring in public education,” said Adeola Whitney, CEO of Reading Partners. “High-impact tutoring is proven to increase student achievement and help close opportunity gaps. While much research has examined the positive effects of in-person tutoring, we are thrilled to be partnering with Accelerate to examine the impact of our Reading Partners Connects online tutoring program which we think can be a game-changer in advancing educational equity at scale.”

Reading Partners is one of 31 research and education partners selected to receive the award, as well as to join a community to share best practices and resources and ultimately help inform Accelerate’s national research and policy agenda.

“We know that good tutoring programs work — partly because well-off families have used them to boost student success for generations. And we know that those same programs can be a powerful tool to close racial and economic opportunity gaps when we give less privileged students the same access. What we haven’t figured out yet is how to make high-impact tutoring available for everyone,” said Accelerate CEO Kevin Huffman. “With districts deciding how to spend one-time federal funds to combat the effects of the pandemic, solving that challenge has never been more urgent.”

Accelerate’s announcement of the inaugural cohort of grantees follows a competitive national selection process. In spring 2022, Accelerate, as part of its launch, released a Call to Effective Action to recruit partners to help it design, launch, and scale high-impact tutoring efforts and to build a community committed to impact and to shaping the evidence base for tutoring. Partners interested in the initiative were asked to first submit a letter of intent outlining their high-level vision. Following review of more than 200 letters by a panel of diverse experts, finalists were selected and invited to submit a full-length proposal. Beyond the inaugural cohort of grantees, Accelerate will continue to make additional investments in tutoring innovation over time.

In the 2022-23 school year, Reading Partners anticipates needing approximately 11,000 community volunteers nationwide as well as hundreds of AmeriCorps members to support the literacy development of nearly 9,000 students through tutoring and an additional 6,000 students through other literacy support services. Follow this link if you’re interested in investing one hour a week to help empower a student through reading.

View a list of all grantees and a summary of their tutoring models.

high-impact tutoring

An AmeriCorps member supports a student working on a Reading Partners Connects lesson (Photo Credit: Reading Partners)

high-impact tutoring

A volunteer tutor and a student in a reading center engaging in Reading Partners’ traditional tutoring program (Photo Credit: Reading Partners)


About Reading Partners

For over 20 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 75,000 community volunteers to provide more than 2.5 million individualized literacy tutoring sessions to more than 70,000 elementary school students in nearly 470 under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia. Visit to learn more about our program impact and our Reading Partners Connects online program innovation, or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Reading Partners is a proud AmeriCorps service partner and has been featured on Good Morning America and endorsed by The New York Times.

About Accelerate

Accelerate is a nonprofit organization that seeks to embed high-impact tutoring programs into public schools now and for the long term. Launched in April 2022 with an initial fund of $65 million, Accelerate funds and supports innovation in schools, launches high-quality research, and advances a federal and state policy agenda to support this work.

Accelerate is supported by Kenneth C. Griffin, chief executive officer of Citadel; Arnold Ventures; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; and the Overdeck Family Foundation.

For more information, visit

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