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September 12, 2019

Back to school: Reading Partners New York calls for more community volunteers

Seeking local volunteers for the 2019-20 school year

One hour can empower! In the 2019-20 school year, Reading Partners aims to match 1,550 community volunteers with 1,220 elementary students struggling to read in New York City. By tutoring a student one-on-one for as little as an hour a week, volunteers can make an impact that can quite literally alter the course of a child’s educational experience and life.

This will be my 5th year volunteering with Reading Partners and I still look forward to every session. I love the interaction with my students – they make me laugh and it’s such a great feeling of accomplishment to teach them and see them progress during the school year. As an avid reader all my life I try to instill the love of reading and try to explain how books can transport you.

– Iris Keitel, Reading Partners volunteer, PS 126

The need is real

In New York state, only 24% of economically disadvantaged students are reading proficiently by the fourth grade. The nationwide trends are similar—nearly nine million elementary school students from low-income homes are unable to use reading as a foundational skill to power their learning in all subjects in school. Without developing the reading skills needed to read on grade level, kids don’t have an equitable chance to succeed in school or in life. In fact, students who can’t read by fourth grade are four times more likely to not earn a high school diploma.

Reading Partners is a proven literacy program that partners with local public schools

In the 2018-19 school year, Reading Partners continued to build on its history of successfully advancing early literacy in New York City. A national nonprofit organization, Reading Partners collaborates with community volunteers and local public schools to provide students in under-resourced schools with the proven, individualized reading intervention they need to read at grade level by fourth grade. Reading Partners collaborates with teachers and principals at local public elementary schools to identify students reading behind grade level and provide them with personalized literacy instruction in a dedicated “reading center” space at their school.

2018-19 results highlight deep community impact 

Each year, Reading Partners publishes student impact reports for the national organization and for each of its 13 respective regions across the country. The impact reports for the 2018-19 school year have recently been posted on readingpartners.org and include the following highlights.

  • In New York City:

    • Nearly 1,200 students were matched with over 1,300 community volunteers at 20 partner schools who delivered more than 34,000 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students in New York City, 91% are developing mastery of key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses, 82% of principals report improved school-wide reading progress, 100% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school and 96% of volunteers were satisfied with their Reading Partners experience.

    • Learn more about Reading Partners’ impact in New York City here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

The impressive student results highlighted in the 2018-19 impact reports are fueled by the generous participation of thousands of community volunteers. One hour truly can empower!

To become a volunteer with Reading Partners, please visit readingpartners.org/volunteer today.

About Reading Partners

For 20 years, Reading Partners has empowered students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring. Since its founding, the national nonprofit organization has mobilized more than 60,000 community volunteers to provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to nearly 60,000 elementary school students in over 400 under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia. Visit readingpartners.org to learn more about our program impact, or connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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