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June 29, 2017

More than half willing to volunteer as a K-12 tutor for reading, science, and math - Silicon Valley Leadership Group poll finds

For Immediate Release:

June 29, 2017


Nancy Sanchez, Sr. Dir. of Communications / (408) 501-7879

Kimberly Ellis, SVP Communications and Marketing / (408) 501-7853

San Jose, CA – More than half of Santa Clara County voters are choosing to be engaged rather than enraged. The Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s annual “Silicon Valley Poll” found that 56 percent of voters would be willing to volunteer an hour a week for 15 weeks to help tutor a K-8 student in reading, science or math.

Third grade proficiency in English is a key indicator of future academic success. If a child cannot read, then that child cannot learn. Data from the Leadership Group’s Silicon Valley Competitiveness and Innovation Project shows there are significant disparities in Silicon Valley: Only 29percent of Black/African American students and 31 percent of Hispanic/Latino students met or exceeded state standards. These numbers show a severe achievement gap when compared to 73percent of White/Caucasian students and 75percent of Asian students who met or exceeded state standards.

The amount of talent concentrated in Silicon Valley can make a difference and inspire our future generations to dream and learn,” said Reading Partners Silicon Valley Executive Director Aarika Riddle. “The 1:1 support volunteer tutors provide helps to put struggling readers on a path to grade-level proficiency.

Sadly, the story is not much different for 8th grade math proficiency: Only 24 percent of Black/African American students and 25 percent of Hispanic/Latinos met or exceeded state standards for math proficiency. In contrast, 68 percent of White/Caucasian students and 82 percent of Asian students met or exceeded state standards.

“Serving as a volunteer tutor for as little as one hour each week for only 12-15 weeks can be a life-saver for the student and life-changing for the tutor,” said Silicon Valley Leadership Group President and CEO Carl Guardino. “I’ve beta-tested this myself; having tutored two different second grade students and Horace Mann Elementary School in San Jose, goose-bumps every time.”

The difference a tutor can make in a child’s life is immeasurable and can have a lifelong impact in their educational path. Tutoring works, more than 82 percent of K-2 Reading Partners student in Silicon Valley mastered the fundamental skills needed to read at grade level.

Become a tutor, sign up with Reading Partners or We Teach Science.

School Volunteerism Poll Questions

On the subject of local public schools. Would you be willing to volunteer an hour of your time for 15 weeks to help teach reading, science or math in a K-8 elementary school near your home or work?

Yes/Volunteer. ……….. 56

No/ Not Volunteer. …. 41

No Opinion. ……………… 3

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Annual Poll

The 2017 Silicon Valley Leadership Group Annual Poll was conducted by J. Moore Methods from May 3-9, 2017 and surveyed 1,200 registered voters in Santa Clara, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. These results are for Santa Clara County polling 600 likely voters with a +/- 2.6 percent margin of error.

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents more than 400 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and generate more than $3 trillion in annual revenue.

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