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April 17, 2017

Ask the DC City Council to protect funding for early literacy

Mayor Bowser’s FY18 budget proposal eliminates $1.6 million of funding for the Early Literacy Intervention Initiative. Reading Partners receives nearly half a million dollars of this funding (15 percent of our total budget in 2016-17), and it has allowed us to grow to serve nearly 1,000 students across 20 schools this year.

Reading Partners has a proven, effective model that makes a meaningful, measurable difference for the students we serve. In partnership with schools and communities, you, our volunteers, provide individualized tutoring for students who struggle with reading. As a result, students make incredible gains:

  • 87 percent of all Reading Partners students met or exceeded their primary end-of-year literacy growth goal in 2015-16.
  • 94 percent of Reading Partners’ K-2 students mastered the foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level in 2015-16.

If you are a DC resident, please let the City Council’s Education Committee know the importance of keeping this funding to ensure that hundreds of elementary school students across our city can continue to receive our high-quality literacy tutoring.

Here’s how you can help:

Call the members of the Education Committee to voice your support for the Early Literacy Intervention Initiative. We have provided their numbers and a script below.

Education Committee Members:

  • David Grosso (At-Large), Committee Chair: (202) 724-8105
  • Anita Bonds (At-Large): (202) 724-8064
  • Robert White (At-Large): (202) 724-8174
  • Charles Allen (Ward 6): (202)-724-8072
  • Trayon White (Ward 8): (202) 724-8045

You can look up your Ward here: https://dcatlas.dcgis.dc.gov/mar/

Script:

Hello. My name is _______ . I live in Ward ___ and I am calling to ask Councilmember _______ and the Education Committee to keep funding for the Early Literacy Intervention Initiative in the FY18 budget. [IF APPLICABLE: I volunteer as a reading partner at [your school] and I tutor a student once a week.]

Reading Partners is serving nearly 1,000 students at 20 DCPS and charter schools this school year and receives nearly 15% of their funding from the Early Literacy Intervention Initiative. The Mayor’s budget proposal eliminates $2.4 million from the Current Services Funding Level for the Office of the State Superintendent of Education that was appropriated in FY17 for the Early Literacy program for third grade reading success and Out-of-School program initiatives.

Protecting this funding would help ensure that hundreds of elementary school students in DC can continue to receive the evidence-based literacy interventions they need to succeed in school and in life. Thank you for your time.

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