Important COVID-19 information: Our Programs | FAQs | Resources for families

Back to News

June 16, 2023

Addressing the Youth Literacy Crisis with Olivia Martin | Shift Out Loud with Tracy Spears

Originally posted on Shift Out Loud


You’d be surprised by the positive impact you can have on your community in just 45 minutes per week. If you want to learn how to make a huge difference in under an hour, you won’t want to miss this episode of Shift Out Loud!

I speak to Olivia Martin, who is championing students, teachers, parents, and volunteers in the meaningful work of literacy for children in Tulsa and the surrounding areas. As the Executive Director of Reading Partners of Tulsa, she works to provide students with the support they need to read at grade level by fourth grade, partnering with under-resourced schools and pairing kids with volunteer reading partners.

During our conversation, we dig into her experience in the Leadership Tulsa program, how her daughter’s passion for the theatre led to an unexpected shift in Olivia’s career, and how she’s making an INCREDIBLE difference in her community.

Listen now to discover:

  • How to get more comfortable asking for money while in a fundraising role
  • Why we’re currently experiencing a crisis in youth literacy — and what needs to happen in order to fix it
  • How to play a role in the Reading Partners mission, in just 45 minutes per week

Guest bio: Olivia Martin is a devoted advocate for education and the Tulsa community who brings more than two decades of experience in teaching, school administration, development, and civic engagement to her role as the executive director or Reading Partners of Tulsa. She envisions a big, bold future for Reading Partners Tulsa and looks forward to nurturing data-driven growth and collaborative partnerships in the service of students’ literacy and a life-long love of learning.



01:49 Intro

03:04 Meet Olivia Martin

05:25 Leadership Tulsa

09:06 YWCA, Tulsa Dream Center, Theatre Tulsa & Collegiate Hall

12:11 Performance, theatre & extroversion

15:47 Fundraising

17:58 Vital literacy statistics

22:09 Julia Louis-Dreyfuss & Toni Morrison

30:13 Reading Partners

35:58 May Fest, fundraising gala & Stacey Abrams

40:41 Getting involved & what’s next



Olivia Martin

Wiser Than Me™ with Julia Louis-Dreyfus

Discover your tactical leadership toolkit:

Interested in working with me or having me speak at your event? Visit:

Visit my resource library for tools that will help you play bigger:

Connect with me:



Twitter: @tracylspears

Instagram: @tracylspears

If you love the podcast, please consider leaving a rating and review — this will help others discover how to play a bigger game.

  • Logo for Accelerate
  • Logo for Five Below
  • Logo for Hellman Foundation
  • Logo for Bezos Family Foundation
  • Logo for George Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Logo for Panda Cares
  • Logo for The Duke Endowment
  • Logo for Deerbrook Charitable Trust

Thanks to our partners

Site by Vermilion Credits Privacy Policy ©2024 Reading Partners