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January 12, 2017

Mentoring Month provides perfect opportunity to take action to support early literacy in Minneapolis and St. Paul

For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Casanova, Executive Director, Reading Partners Twin Cities
(612) 408-5072,

January is National Mentoring Month and 185 students in Minneapolis and St. Paul are in urgent need of a volunteer reading partner

(St. Paul, MN) January 9, 2017 — January is National Mentoring Month, and Reading Partners is encouraging more community members to join its efforts to provide students in under-resourced schools with the tutoring and mentorship they need to become proficient readers by the fourth grade. A proven national nonprofit that mobilizes community volunteers to work one-on-one with struggling readers, Reading Partners aims to serve 470 students in Minneapolis and St. Paul in the 2016-17 school year. Currently, there are over 200 students at 11 local elementary schools waiting to be matched with tutors. Mentoring month is the perfect time to get involved.

Last summer’s release of 2016 Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) by the Department of Education saw no overall improvement in reading for the third year in a row, with 60% of students meeting standards across the state. For students in the urban core of the Twin Cities where Reading Partners focuses its efforts, these results dip to closer to 40% of students meeting standards. And of those, only 25% of students living in poverty are meeting standards. These figures verify the lack of movement on closing the achievement gap for students of color in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Reading is the foundation for all future learning and Reading Partners tutors provide the individualized literacy support and mentorship to help students make the all-important shift from learning to read to reading to learn.

“Minneapolis and St. Paul have  the highest rate of volunteering of any community in the nation, according to recent figures from the Corporation for National and Community Service,”  shared Karen Casanova, Executive Director of Reading Partners Twin Cities. “We need to bring this spirit of volunteering to our community’s struggling readers, supporting students’ critical literacy skills necessary to succeed in school and in life. Volunteer tutors are the foundation of Reading Partners’ model of support.”

Reading Partners 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. Reading Partners Twin Cities has an immediate need for volunteer tutors who can commit at least an hour a week to work with students in the following schools:

Minneapolis Public Schools

  • Bethune Community School, 919 Emerson Avenue N., Minneapolis MN 55411

  • Cityview Community School, 3350 North 4th Street, Minneapolis MN 55412

  • Elizabeth Hall Elementary School, 160 Aldrich Avenue N., Minneapolis MN 55411

  • Richard R. Green Central Park School, 3416 4th Avenue S., Minneapolis MN 55408

  • Lyndale Community School, 312 West 34th Street, Minneapolis MN 55408

St. Paul Public Schools

  • Benjamin E. Mays IB World School, 560 Concordia Avenue, St. Paul MN  55103

  • Hamline Elementary School, 1599 Englewood Avenue, St. Paul MN 55104

  • Maxfield Elementary School, 380 Victoria Street N., St. Paul MN 55104

  • Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet, 1089 Cypress Street, St. Paul MN 55106

Independent Schools

  • Northeast College Prep, 300 Industrial Blvd NE, Minneapolis MN 55413

  • Ascension Catholic School, 1726 Dupont Avenue, Minneapolis MN 55411

To learn more, please visit or email or call (651) 362-0430.

About Reading Partners

Reading Partners empowers students to succeed 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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