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September 1, 2016

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

For Immediate Release

Rachel Minnick, Executive Director, Reading Partners Sacramento, (916) 220-7224

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

(Sacramento, CA) August 31, 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 and include the following highlights and many more.

  • In the Sacramento region:

    • More than 450 students at eight partner schools were matched with 730 community volunteers who delivered more than 16,000 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students, 86% 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 97% of volunteers were satisfied with their experience.

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

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

“Volunteers want to know they are making a real difference. This year, the results clearly showed that they made a huge impact on literacy for hundreds of children,” said executive director, Rachel Minnick. “In addition, I am proud that principals and teachers see the value of having our program on their campuses. Together we are moving the needle on reading proficiency in Sacramento.”

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. Reading is the foundation for all future learning. 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.

In Sacramento, three out of four (74%) low-income fourth graders are not reading on grade level and they need extra support from caring adults to get back on track.

In the 2016-17 school year, Reading Partners Sacramento aims to match 860 community volunteers with 540 struggling readers. 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.

Lindsay, a returning tutor at Bell Avenue Elementary, summed up the positive energy she feels working with her student. “I tutor at 8 am Monday mornings, not just because it’s convenient for my schedule, but it’s an excellent way to brighten up my day and the whole week!” She’s excited to start tutoring again because, as she says, “I love watching how students get excited about the different components of reading. My student last year loved finding new words to add to her vocabulary word net. This year, it might be something else, and I can’t wait to see what puts a smile on my student’s face.”

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 today.

Two New Reading Centers Opening in Sacramento!

Reading Partners Sacramento is hosting two ribbon-cutting events to celebrate the opening of new reading centers in the Twin Rivers Unified and Sacramento City Unified School Districts. Guests will be able to see how funds from the City of Sacramento’s Gang Prevention and Intervention Task Force and the BIG Day of Giving are being put to use. Local leaders and community members will be in attendance.

HW Harkness Elementary School Ribbon-Cutting Celebration
Thursday, September 8
2147 54th Ave, Sacramento 95822

Northwood Elementary School Ribbon-Cutting Celebration
Friday, September 9
9am – 10am
2630 Taft St, Sacramento 95815

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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