Reading Partners has been part of the educational landscape in Washington, DC since 2010, when we first began placing community volunteers in Title I elementary schools to support students in mastering essential reading skills. Our one-on-one tutoring model empowers young readers to succeed in reading and in life through the engagement of community volunteers who provide individualized, personal attention to each student in our program.
Washington, DC is the center of our nation’s political power, yet too many of our Capital’s schools are failing to prepare students to be future leaders. Only 19 percent of DC’s fourth-graders from under-resourced communities could read proficiently in 2019, placing DC among the worst-performing cities in the country.
At the same time, DC is uniquely positioned to reverse this trend. With a high concentration of college-educated residents, a desire to change the odds for students, and a robust volunteer community, DC is poised to help change educational outcomes for our future leaders. By partnering with caregivers, teachers, and school and community leaders in Washington, DC, we are working towards a future where all children have the reading skills necessary to reach their full potential. A recent DCPS evaluation found that students who participated in Reading Partners in 2018-19 scored 30% higher on their DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) test than their peers who did not participate in our program.
Facing a school year of uncertainty due to COVID-19 in 2020-21, Reading Partners collaborated with teachers and school leaders to meet students’ learning needs, including creating an innovative online tutoring program that can be used to support students when in-person tutoring is not an option. This school year, Reading Partners will also continue to invest in family engagement programs as well as trauma-informed care and race equity, diversity, and inclusion trainings for volunteers, staff, and AmeriCorps members to ensure that we are thoroughly and efficiently supporting students and communities as we emerge from the pandemic and well into the future.
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Washington, DC 20019