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September 7, 2016

Reading Partners announces strong student reading progress in Charlotte from volunteer-led tutoring program

For Immediate Release

Contact:
Sharon Harrington, Executive Director, Reading Partners Charlotte
(704) 618-4398, sharon.harrington@readingpartners.org

Nonprofit calls for more community tutors in 2016-17 to expand impact

(Charlotte, NC) September 7, 2016 — Reading Partners is a national nonprofit organization that collaborates with local public schools and mobilizes community volunteers to provide students in under-resourced schools with the proven, individualized reading support they need to read at grade level by fourth grade.

Reading Partners transforms a dedicated space into a reading center, complete with a library and teaching tools managed by a full-time AmeriCorps member or staff member. Reading Partners collaborates with teachers and principals to identify students reading behind grade level, and provides them with personalized literacy instruction.

2015-16 Results

Reading Partners prides itself on running a program that is both highly effective and transparent. In that spirit, the nonprofit organization issues annual impact reports spotlighting national-level performance as well as performance results in all 14 of its regions across the country. The impact reports for the 2015-16 school year have recently been posted on readingpartners.org and include the following highlights and many more.

  • In the Charlotte region:

    • 85 students at four partner schools were matched with over 100 community volunteers who delivered a total of 1,763 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students in Charlotte, 82% mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses,100% of principals report improved school-wide reading progress, 100% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school and 98% of volunteers were satisfied with their experience.

    • Learn more about Reading Partners’ impact in Charlotte here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

“All students in North Carolina have the potential to be strong, confident readers,” said Sharon Harrington, Executive Director of Reading Partners Charlotte. “Reading proficiency is the critical first step on the path to future educational success and Reading Partners has a tremendous track record and a proven, evidence-based curriculum that will make a meaningful and measurable difference for our students in Charlotte.”

More Volunteers Needed in the 2016-17 School Year

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, in 2015, only 21 percent of low-income students nationwide, and 36 percent of students overall, are reading proficiently by the fourth grade. This means that nearly nine million low-income elementary school students are still learning to read when they should instead be reading to learn. Without developing the reading skills needed to read on grade level, kids won’t have an equitable chance to succeed in school or in life. In fact, students who can’t read by fourth grade are four times more likely to drop out of school or not earn a high school diploma.

According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress data, 78 percent of low-income fourth graders in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools are not proficient in reading. Reading Partners Charlotte is collaborating with Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools, as well as other local nonprofit organizations in a combined effort to ensure more students reach grade-level reading proficiency.

In the 2016-17 school year, Reading Partners aims to essentially triple the impact, matching 320 community volunteers with 250 struggling readers in Charlotte. By tutoring a student one-on-one for as little as an hour a week, volunteers can make an impact that can quite literally alter the course of a child’s educational experience and life.

“My favorite part about tutoring with Reading Partners is the opportunity to instill confidence and a love of reading to young children,” remarked Emily Little, a Reading Partners tutor in Charlotte. “I love seeing their faces light up when they sound out a difficult word or grasp a concept for the first time. I love to read and I believe that everyone deserves a chance to truly love reading, too. By helping children gain better reading skills, they’ll be able to experience that joy personally for the rest of their lives.”

The impressive student results highlighted above and in the corresponding impact reports would not be possible without the generous participation of thousands of community volunteers. To become a volunteer with Reading Partners, please visit readingpartners.org/volunteer today.

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 readingpartners.org, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to learn more.

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