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September 12, 2016

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

For Immediate Release

Contact: Aarika Riddle, Executive Director, Reading Partners Silicon Valley
(650) 644-9156,  aarika.riddle@readingpartners.org

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

(Milpitas, CA) September 12, 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 Silicon Valley region:

    • Over 1,300 students at 26 partner schools were matched with 1,873 community volunteers who delivered over 46,000 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

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

    • Based on survey responses, 96% of principals report improved school-wide reading progress, 98% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school and 95% of volunteers were satisfied with their experience.

    • Learn more about Reading Partners’ impact in Silicon Valley here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

“The numbers in our impact report clearly demonstrate the need for a program like Reading Partners in our schools. Working together with our volunteer tutors, students are able to achieve impressive gains in mastering their reading skills and reading closer to grade level,” said Aarika Riddle, Executive Director of Reading Partners Silicon Valley.”

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.

Only 31 percent of socioeconomically disadvantaged students in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties combined are reading at grade level (Kidsdata.org, 2015).

In the 2016-17 school year, Reading Partners Silicon Valley aims to match over 1,400 community volunteers with 1,000 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.

A Tutor at Ellis Elementary School in Sunnyvale, CA remarked, “Every week was special, but it really touched me when I met my student’s dad for the first time and he told me, ‘Oh, so you’re the one she is always talking about!’”

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, andFacebook, to learn more.

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