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April 11, 2016

Reading Partners Colorado shares inspiring volunteerism stories during National Volunteer Week

For Immediate Release

Margie Thirlby, Executive Director, Reading Partners Colorado


(Denver, CO) April 11, 2016 — Reading Partners is a national nonprofit that collaborates with community volunteers and local public schools in Colorado to equip students with the foundational skills they need to be able to read at grade level by fourth grade. The proven early literacy organization has been providing volunteer-led, individualized reading support to students in under-resourced public elementary schools since 1999.

April is National Volunteer Month (and April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week), so Reading Partners is celebrating the tremendous dedication and impact of its thousands of volunteer tutors by sharing a sampling of the uplifting stories playing out every day in Reading Partners reading centers in Colorado and across its 14 regions. In addition, Reading Partners Colorado will be thanking their tutors with tickets to the Rockies vs Giants series this week, made possible by community partners at the Colorado Rockies Charity Fund.

“Our volunteers at Reading Partners are the building block to our organization,” said Margie Thirlby, Executive Director of Reading Partners Colorado. “They are providing children with a lifelong gift that will transform lives and impact communities long-term.”

Here are a few examples of the countless inspiring stories of high-impact volunteerism taking place in Reading Partners reading centers in Colorado:

  1. Wanda, a former teacher from Pueblo, is a second-year tutor who volunteers four hours per week, completing two weekly sessions with each of her students. Both students are big fans of Wanda and have made impressive reading growth this year.

  2. The Volunteers of America Foster Grandparent Program helps develop intergenerational bonds by bringing together youth and older adults for programming that focuses on early childhood education, literacy, and numeracy skills. Foster Grandparents of Colorado and Reading Partners have teamed up to provide a special intergenerational partnership that allows Foster Grandparents to support literacy in our public schools through one-on-one tutoring. This year we have six Foster Grandparents working across six of our partner schools. Aside from supporting students in their literacy learning, Foster Grandparents like Largressa Munnerlyn also help create a sense of community in Reading Partners reading centers so that students and tutors alike feel an even stronger connection to the work.

  1. Students from DSST Stapleton High School wanted to use their elective class time to make a difference in their community this school year. Student Maddie Sorensen took the lead and approached the administration to see if she and some fellow students could travel down the street to Ashley Elementary and tutor Reading Partners students during their elective course time. The proposal was approved and this semester seven DSST students spend an hour every Tuesday working one-on-one with Ashley Elementary students.

Only 39 percent of Colorado fourth graders scored at or above proficient in reading in 2015 according to the National Assessment for Educational Progress (NAEP). 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. With the dedication of more than 14,000 volunteer tutors in Colorado and across the US, Reading Partners’ volunteers are helping more than 10,000 students make the all-important shift from learning to read to reading to learn.

To learn more, please visit

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 10,000 elementary school students in under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia in 2016. Visit, or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, to learn more.

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