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August 30, 2018

Celebrating its 20th Year of Nationwide Impact, Reading Partners Unveils Outstanding Student Results in the Twin Cities in 2017-18

For Immediate Release


Brooke Rivers

Executive Director, Reading Partners Twin Cities

(612) 281-1558  |


The early literacy nonprofit looks for more community tutors in 2018-19

(St. Paul, MN) August 29, 2018

The 2018-19 academic school year marks Reading Partners’ 20th anniversary of bringing community volunteers into schools to provide essential one-on-one literacy tutoring that empowers students to succeed in school and beyond. Over the past two decades, the organization has grown from supporting a handful of students at one school into a national literacy nonprofit supporting more than 11,000 students at 200 schools across the US every year.

“Reading is critical and equitable education needs to be a norm, not a luxury,” said Karine Apollon, CEO, Reading Partners. “This is a solvable problem and one that Reading Partners has been successfully tackling for 20 years. Last school year alone, our organization mobilized over 12,000 volunteers in communities across the country to tackle one of the nation’s greatest issues, one student at a time, and our personalized literacy approach continues to show strong results”

Student results in 2017-18 continued a strong trend for Reading Partners Twin Cities

Every fall, Reading Partners issues student impact reports for the national organization and for each of its 14 respective regions across the country. The impact reports for the 2017-18 school year have recently been posted on and include the following highlights.

  • In the Twin Cities region:

    • 573 students were matched with 661 community volunteers at 13 partner schools who delivered almost 22,000 tutoring sessions (an average of 37 tutoring sessions per student over the course of the year).

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students in the Twin Cities, 85% mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses, 100% of principals and 99% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school, and 94% of volunteers were satisfied with their Reading Partners experience.

    • Learn more about Reading Partners’ impact in the Twin Cities here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ 2017-18 national impact here.

“We are thrilled to have served nearly 600 students in our third year of operation in the Twin Cities, and to see so many students achieving their primary literacy goal,” said Brooke Rivers, executive director of Reading Partners Twin Cities. “Reading is the foundation of all future learning and I’m encouraged to be joined by so many in our community who are deeply committed to this critical work.”

A 20-year track record of student and community impact

Only 20 percent of economically disadvantaged students in the US are reading proficiently by fourth grade. For students entering fourth grade, it is essential to have made the switch from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn.’ Most subjects, including history, science and math, all require literacy in order to progress. Over the past two decades, Reading Partners has engaged nearly 55,000 community tutors and over 1,300 AmeriCorps members to provide one-on-one literacy tutoring to more than 50,000 students attending over 350 public schools in nearly 75 school districts across the country. All told, Reading Partners volunteers have delivered more than 1.5 million tutoring sessions, helping students grow their reading skills and confidence at a critical stage in their education.

More volunteers needed in the Twin Cities in the 2018-19 school year

There are nearly nine million low-income K-5 students in the US, including thousands in the Twin Cities, who are not yet reading at grade level. Without developing the literacy skills needed to read at grade level, these children do not have an equitable chance to succeed in school or in life. Each new volunteer that Reading Partners engages helps more students develop the foundational reading skills needed to power their learning in all other subjects in school.

In the 2018-19 school year, Reading Partners aims to match 660 community volunteers with 550 struggling readers in the Twin Cities. By tutoring a student one-on-one for as little as one hour a week, volunteers can make an impact that can quite literally alter the course of a child’s educational experience and life.

“Working with students and watching them progress as readers has been highly rewarding,” said Vicki Johnson, a Reading Partners volunteer tutor. “The look of pride the kids have when they learn a new skill, combined with the knowledge you’re helping them succeed, makes all the hard work worthwhile.”

The positive student results highlighted in the 2017-18 impact reports are made possible through the generous participation of thousands of community volunteers. To become a volunteer with Reading Partners, please visit today.

Join us for our Fall Kick-Off event on September 4th

Join Reading Partners Twin Cities at Moon Palace Books as we celebrate the launch of a new school year. Hear from Reading Partners about our plans for the 2018-19 school year, then enjoy a discussion with authors Bao Phi and Lauren Stringer on writing children’s books and the importance of reading. The authors will also take questions from the audience. A social hour will take place after the discussion where you can meet the authors, get to know the Reading Partners team, and connect with Reading Partners volunteer tutors from across the Twin Cities.

This event is open to everyone! Purchase a $10 event ticket to receive admission to the conversation including light food and refreshments during our social hour. To purchase tickets and learn more about the email Graham Sutherland:

Photos of students and volunteer tutors in a Reading Partners reading center (Photo Credit: Reading Partners)


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 nearly 55,000 community volunteers to provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to more than 50,000 elementary school students in under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia. Visit to learn more about our program impact, or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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