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April 17, 2018

Grade 4 reading scores rise in DC for low-income students - Reading Partners volunteers are part of the solution

For Immediate Release


Cielo Contreras, Development Director and Interim Executive Director

Reading Partners DC

(202) 525-7462  |

Reading Partners volunteers strengthen Washington, DC in many different ways — here are the top 5

Washington, DC — April 17, 2018

National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores were released recently, and while overall reading scores for DC fourth graders were essentially flat, the scores for students who are are eligible for free and reduced-price lunch improved more significantly. In 2015, only 14 percent of 4th-grade DC students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch were proficient or greater in reading. In 2017, that number rose to 19 percent.

Reading Partners is a literacy intervention program that specifically targets struggling readers in under-resourced schools. The national nonprofit collaborates with community volunteers and local public schools in DC and in 13 other regions across the country to equip students with the foundational skills they need to be able to read at grade level by fourth grade. Leveraging volunteers is one of the ways Reading Partners has been successful in reaching and having a positive impact on thousands of students in the DC area.

For over four decades, National Volunteer Week has given nonprofits an opportunity to recognize the invaluable support of volunteers that help fuel their work. In celebration of National Volunteer Week in 2018 (April 15-21), Reading Partners DC created a list highlighting the top five ways its volunteers make the community stronger and better.

Top 5 Reasons Reading Partners Volunteers Make DC a Better Place

  1. Drive student impact – Volunteers are working one-on-one with 925 students this year in Washington, D.C., to help deliver meaningful results for kids; last year, 95% of Reading Partners’ Kindergarten through second-grade students in DC mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

  2. Promote educational equity to strengthen the broader community – Everyone benefits in the long run when student literacy achievement is bolstered. Students who don’t read proficiently by fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of school. It’s estimated that every student who walks out of the classroom without a diploma costs our society $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity.

  3. Serve as a resource multiplier – Because Reading Partners engages so many community volunteers in their work, the program is more affordable for schools to implement than other literacy interventions. For every dollar invested in reading partners, the program delivers more than $2 in resources to students.

  4. Support strong public schools – Thanks to the involvement of 1,100 community tutors in D.C., 97% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school providing much-needed extra support in target communities.

  1. Bring joy to learning – Students feed off of the energy and excitement of Reading Partners’ volunteer tutors. In D.C., 97% of volunteers are satisfied with their tutoring experience and that enthusiasm helps students develop a lifelong love of reading that is key to success in school and beyond.

“We could not do this work without our dedicated volunteers,” said Naomi Shachter, Community Engagement Director for Reading Partners DC. “We’re proud of the impact each of our 1,100 community volunteers is making this year.“

In an effort to strengthen the literacy skills of as many students as possible, Reading Partners DC is constantly looking for more local volunteers to commit just an hour a week to work individually with children who struggle with reading. To become a volunteer with Reading Partners, please visit today.

Reading Partners volunteers work one-on-one with students. (Photo credit: Reading Partners)


About Reading Partners

Reading Partners empowers 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 provided proven, individualized literacy tutoring to nearly 45,000 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 FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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