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June 13, 2016

Annual benefit inspires Reading Partners New York community

By: Rebecca Okin, Intern and Isabella Cucchi, Special Projects Associate

“Reading Partners, and my tutors, helped me become much more confident because they never gave up on me,” said a Reading Partners alum as she stood in front of 300 of the organization’s supporters who gathered at the Reading Partners New York Third Annual Benefit on May 25. “They always encouraged me and they helped me learn to believe in myself.”

studentThat evening, new supporters as well as some of the biggest champions of the region came together at Bryant Park Grill to celebrate Reading Partners New York’s fifth anniversary and to honor Stephanie Cohen, managing director at Goldman Sachs and Reading Partners national board member who played a critical role in bringing the organization to New York in 2011. After hearing directly from a former Reading Partners student directly, every individual in the room appeared to realize just how extensive the organization’s impact continues to be.

The event celebrated all of the students, volunteer tutors, school partners, communities, and financial supporters who have made Reading Partners’ first five years in New York so special. We are incredibly grateful for the regional advisory board, host committee, and 13 event sponsors (including Rothschild, Cravath, Davis Polk, Freshfields, and Sullivan and Cromwell) that contributed to the benefit’s success and have enabled us to serve over 920 children this year.

The night began with a VIP reception sponsored by Rothschild wines, followed by hors d’oeuvres and cocktails provided by Bryant Park Grill. Executive Director Maris Goodstein, board members, and school stakeholders then captivated guests as they spoke about the power of the program and the unparalleled importance of its supporters.

As Goodstein put it, “Since our launch, Reading Partners New York has grown steadily without sacrificing program quality from 7 schools to 17 schools, or 300 students to 920 students. But more NYC students need us … With a program that is effective as well as replicable, we have the potential to do so much more.”

marisA portion of the evening was also dedicated to a live auction featuring experience packages such as a weekend at St. Andrew’s Golf Club, Exhale Spa, and a weekend at Silver Oak Wineries, as well as critical program needs. As the benefit accumulated nearly $250,000, the significance of our contributors is certainly evident.

As Reading Partners New York celebrated its five year anniversary, Goodstein and her team couldn’t help but think about all of the potential that our program has to reach even more students, volunteers, and communities in the years to come.

Be sure to check out photos of the event on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account!

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