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November 29, 2016

After a divisive election, it's time to take action to support early literacy in Silicon Valley

For Immediate Release


Desiree Perez-Barahona, Vice President of Regional Operations, Reading Partners
(510) 872-2322,

Taking action to support early literacy in Silicon Valley through Reading Partners after a divisive election season

(Milpitas, California) November 23, 2016 — In the wake of a long, divisive campaign season, investing in community engagement and striving to bridge cultural and class divides has renewed importance. Regardless of the diverse political views held across our country, one thing that nearly everyone agrees with is that we want to provide educational opportunity to all children so they can pursue their dreams with purpose. Learning to read proficiently in elementary school plays a crucial role in helping students achieve academic, professional, and life success, and Reading Partners is a place where communities can truly come together in service of that common objective.

It is critical that Reading Partners students are enrolled in the program before the new year in order to maximize the number of tutoring sessions they receive and put them on the best path to reading proficiency. Currently, there are 363 students at 20 elementary schools waiting for tutors in Redwood City, Mountain View, Sunnyvale, East San Jose and Milpitas.

“Reading Partners gives Silicon Valley area residents a way to show the students and families in low-income communities that we support them and are invested in their future as a part of our region,” says Aarika Riddle, Executive Director of Reading Partners Silicon Valley. “Supporting these communities that often have high immigrant populations is more important now than ever.” 

How Reading Partners Works

Reading Partners is a proven national nonprofit that mobilizes community volunteers in Silicon Valley to provide individualized reading support to students in under-resourced public elementary schools and equip them with the foundational skills they need to be able to read at grade level by fourth grade. Reading Partners volunteers are matched one-on-one with students in kindergarten through fourth grade who are reading anywhere from a few months to two and a half years below grade level. Volunteers utilize an easy-to-follow, individualized lesson plan each week, specific to their students’ needs in order to meet them at their level and help build both literacy skills and confidence. Tutors typically commit to one hour a week with the same student for the duration of the academic school year.

Fully 65 percent of low-income third-graders in Silicon Valley cannot read at grade level. This has dire implications for our youngest generation. Students who can read at grade level by fourth grade are four times more likely to graduate high school than those who still lack basic reading skills. Thousands of kids are counting on Reading Partners and community volunteers to be a steady presence for them as they gain one of the most critical skills needed to be our future leaders. Reading Partners tutors take action to help students make the all-important shift from learning to read to reading to learn.

To become a Reading Partner’s tutor or to learn more, please visit

About Reading Partners

Reading Partners empowers students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring. The national nonprofit organization will provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to more than 11,000 elementary school students in under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia in the 2016-17 school year. Visit, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to learn more.

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