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September 7, 2016

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

For Immediate Release

Afi Tengue, Executive Director, Reading Partners Seattle, (206992-4484

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

(Seattle, WA) September 6, 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 Seattle region:

    • Nearly 200 students at four partner schools were matched with over 250 community volunteers who delivered a total of 7,189 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students, 83% mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses, 100% of principals report improved school-wide reading progress, 95% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school and 96% of volunteers were satisfied with their experience.

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

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

Afi Tengue, Executive Director of Reading Partners Seattle, remarked, “Given we only work with under-resourced schools in great need of individualized literacy support, it’s always incredibly heartwarming to see the impact that 250 volunteers can make on the literacy levels of not only our students, but our entire school communities just by showing up for as little as an hour a week.”

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.

In Washington State, the situation is equally dire with three out of four fourth graders not reading at grade level.

In the 2016-17 school year, Reading Partners Seattle aims to match 240 community volunteers with 180 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.

Volunteer tutors in Seattle like Steven Nguyen are feeling the impact they are making with students: “It feels great to be a part of the program because I know my time is making a difference.”

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.

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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