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September 14, 2021

Reading Partners Baltimore continues supporting students through one-on-one online tutoring, celebrates ten years of student impact

For Immediate Release


Christine Pannell

Sr. Communications Manager, Reading Partners Baltimore

(443) 466-6690 |

2020-21 results show that its innovative online program, Reading Partners Connects, positively impacted student literacy last year 

(Baltimore, MD) September 14, 2021 

With the COVID-19 Delta variant spreading and vaccine timelines for young children still undetermined, no one knows exactly what to expect from the 2021-22 school year. To effectively serve students with individualized literacy support regardless of public health circumstances, Reading Partners Baltimore will launch its Reading Partners Connects online tutoring program with school partners next month.

Reading Partners is ready to support student learning no matter what this school year brings

First launched in 2020 in order to serve students while out of school buildings, the Reading Partners Connects online tutoring program will allow volunteer tutors to work remotely with individual students in real time. It offers the same research-based curriculum materials, scripted lessons, and coaching that Reading Partners volunteers have come to expect from the traditional in-person tutoring model, as well as added flexibility and COVID-19 safety considerations.

Students need Reading Partners more than ever

Widespread school interruptions throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated pre-existing opportunity gaps, with pandemic-related learning loss disproportionately impacting Black and Latinx students and students experiencing economic disadvantages. Reading Partners knows that reading is foundational—the ability to read transforms lives and empowers children and communities to thrive. When students can read on grade level by fourth grade, they become well-positioned to graduate from high school, access higher-education, and contribute to an increasingly information-based world. Reading Partners is committed to ensuring that all students receive equitable access to the literacy education they deserve and rigorous research has proven that Reading Partners helps students significantly increase reading proficiency.

Results show that Reading Partners’ innovative online program helped positively impact students

Each year, Reading Partners publishes reports highlighting student performance for each of its 12 respective regions across the country. During the 2020-21 school year in Baltimore:

  • 203 students at 16 partner schools were supported by 355 community volunteers who delivered a total of 5,425 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

  • 100% of tutoring sessions were delivered online via Reading Partners Connects.

  • Facing historic educational disruptions, 81% of K-2 Reading Partners students and 72% of all Reading Partners students met or exceeded their primary literacy growth goal.

  • Through a partnership with the Maryland Book Bank, Reading Partners distributed nearly 500 story kits to students and families.

The 2020-21 school year Impact & Innovation report adds to an impressive track record of student impact spanning the past decade. Since Reading Partners launched in Baltimore in 2011, over 4,150 students at 28 schools were supported by more than 4,300 community volunteers who collectively delivered over 165,000 one-on-one tutoring sessions.

“Despite the many challenges that schools, families, and nonprofits like Reading Partners faced last year, students and volunteers came together to achieve incredible literacy results,” said Jeffrey Zwillenberg, Sr. Executive Director of Reading Partners Baltimore. “Moving into our second decade in Baltimore, we will build on this impact, and evolve and expand our work in order to achieve greater educational equity for students. From our online tutoring program, to our family engagement programs, to our race equity, diversity, and inclusion work, now is the time to join us and help empower our city’s future leaders.”

Community involvement will allow Reading Partners to maximize student support

Fueled by the generous participation of hundreds of community volunteers and donors, Reading Partners Baltimore will provide literacy tutoring and support to over 300 students in Baltimore during the 2021-22 school year.

To become a volunteer tutor with Reading Partners, please visit To financially support Reading Partners’ mission centered on educational equity and opportunity for all students, please visit

A Reading Partners student works remotely with a volunteer tutor using the Reading Partners Connects program innovation (photo credit: Reading Partners)


About Reading Partners

For over 20 years, Reading Partners has helped empower students to succeed in reading and in life by engaging community volunteers to provide one-on-one tutoring. Since its founding, the national nonprofit organization has mobilized over 70,000 community volunteers to provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to nearly 70,000 elementary school students in over 450 under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia. Visit to learn more about our program impact and our Reading Partners Connects online program innovation, or connect with us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Reading Partners is a proud AmeriCorps service partner and has been endorsed by the New York Times.

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