Important COVID-19 information: Our Programs | FAQs | Resources for families

Back to News

September 1, 2017

Reading Partners contributes to significant reading improvement results for DCPS students on statewide testing

For Immediate Release:

Karen Gardner
Executive Director, Reading Partners Washington, DC
(202) 701-9110  |           


The early literacy nonprofit contributed to significant reading improvement results for DCPS students on statewide testing

(Washington, DC) August 28, 2017 —

When District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) recently released some results showing impressive improvement in reading for students on the 2017 statewide tests (PARCC), Reading Partners was proud to have contributed to the continued success.

PARCC results revealed a 9.2 percentage point increase in reading proficiency among low-income DCPS students. With 20 reading centers at DCPS elementary schools in the 2016-17 school year, Reading Partners was able to demonstrate with data and metrics that its programs and curriculum move students to higher reading proficiency.

A national nonprofit organization, Reading Partners collaborates with community volunteers and local public schools to provide students in under-resourced schools with the proven, individualized reading intervention they need to read at grade level by fourth grade. Reading Partners partners with teachers and principals at local public elementary schools to identify students reading behind grade level and provide them with personalized literacy instruction in a dedicated “reading center” space at their school.

2016-17 school year results were strong

Each year, Reading Partners issues student impact reports for the national organization and for each of its 14 respective regions across the country. The impact reports for the 2016-17 school year have recently been posted on and include the following highlights.

  • In the Washington, DC region:

    • 1,035 students were matched with 606 community volunteers at 20 partner schools. Students received a total of 40,501 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students in Washington, DC, 95% mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses, 97% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school and 97% of volunteers were satisfied with their Reading Partners experience.

    • Learn more about Reading Partners’ impact in Washington, DC here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

“We are so grateful to partner with DCPS and with DC’s Charter Schools so that hundreds more students will have the essential reading skills they need in order to be confident learners. The impressive improvement in PARCC scores brings me hope that, collectively, we will close the opportunity gap for DC’s incredibly promising students!” -Karen Gardner, Executive Director of Reading Partners Washington, DC

Calling all volunteers for the 2017-18 school year

Nationwide, only one in five low-income students is reading proficiently by the fourth grade. Tragically, this translates into nearly nine million low-income elementary school students who are unable to use reading as a foundational skill to power their learning in all other subjects in school. Reading is, quite simply, a necessary platform for all future learning. Without developing the reading skills needed to read on grade level, kids don’t have an equitable chance to succeed in school or in life. 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 the 2017-18 school year, Reading Partners aims to match 1,100 community tutors with 925 struggling readers in Washington, DC. 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.

“It’s important for me to come back and help young people in my city as much as a I can. Being involved in Reading Partners and tutoring with students is a great way for me to give back and invest in this community that gave me so much.” -William Harrison, volunteer reading partner

The impressive student results highlighted in the 2016-17 impact reports are made attainable by 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. Since its founding, the national nonprofit organization has provided proven, individualized literacy tutoring to nearly 45,000 elementary school students in under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia. Visit, or connect with us on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook, to learn more.

  • Logo for Accelerate
  • Logo for Five Below
  • Logo for Hellman Foundation
  • Logo for Bezos Family Foundation
  • Logo for George Kaiser Family Foundation
  • Logo for Panda Cares
  • Logo for The Duke Endowment
  • Logo for Deerbrook Charitable Trust

Thanks to our partners

Site by Vermilion Credits Privacy Policy ©2024 Reading Partners