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September 20, 2017

Reading Partners North Texas Announces Strong Student Results, a New Executive Director and Support for Students Displaced by Hurricane Harvey

For Immediate Release

Contact:         

Michael Todd

Director of Marketing & Communications

(415) 225-9139 | michael.todd@readingpartners.org

READING PARTNERS NORTH TEXAS ANNOUNCES STRONG 2016-17 STUDENT IMPACT RESULTS AND A NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

University of North Texas graduate to lead the early literacy nonprofit as it seeks community tutors in Dallas and Fort Worth in 2017-18 and as it seeks to help displaced students in the wake of Hurricane Harvey

(Dallas, TX) September 20, 2017 — Lisa Bracken, a Texas-certified reading specialist who earned a master’s degree in reading education from the University of North Texas, has recently taken over as the Executive Director of Reading Partners North Texas. Bracken started her career in education as a public school elementary teacher where she was named a RISE District Teacher of the Year for the Richardson Independent School District. After training other teachers and writing curriculum for the state of Texas, Bracken led the department of early childhood content at KERA, the local public television affiliate in Dallas. Additionally, Bracken held the position as the Director for the Zero to Five Funder’s Collaborative. Most recently, Bracken served in roles as the director of development and the director of admission for Lakehill Preparatory School in Dallas.

Bracken is joining Reading Partners as a new program year is about to get underway. During the 2016-17 school year, Reading Partners continued to build on its history of successfully advancing early literacy in the North Texas region. 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 collaborates 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 readingpartners.org and include the following highlights.

  • In the North Texas region:

    • More than 840 students were matched at 22 reading centers with nearly 850 community volunteers who delivered a total of 31,502 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students in North Texas, 87% mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses, 92% of principals report improved school-wide reading progress, 96% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school and 94% of volunteers were satisfied with their Reading Partners experience.

    • Learn more about Reading Partners’ impact in North Texas here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

“I am honored and humbled to be a part of the Reading Partners North Texas team helping to ensure children in our community are provided the opportunity to become lifelong readers and achieve school success,” said Lisa Bracken, Executive Director of Reading Partners North Texas. “My passion has been working with children to help close the achievement gap and Reading Partners does just that by helping students make sustainable and long-term gains.”

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 over 800 community volunteers with more than 650 struggling readers in North Texas. 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.

Donnie, a first-year North Texas tutor recently shared his experience with Reading Partners: “When I reached my final tutoring session with my student, it was bittersweet. After having spent the school year working together on a weekly basis, getting to know each other, and building a bond, I realized that this would be our last session together. Saying goodbye at the end of the year was one of celebration by witnessing first-hand how he is now much more confident in his reading abilities and now has achieved grade level success.”

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 readingpartners.org/volunteer today.

Reading Partners Supports Disaster Relief

AmeriCorps, a national service organization that helps provide literacy support to Reading Partners, is also dedicated to assisting victims of the recent disaster relief efforts. For the first time, the Texas State Commission enforced disaster response and recovery by activating Reading Partners AmeriCorps members to assist in the Hurricane relief efforts. The Reading Partners Corps members have been engaged in Dallas-area shelters and call centers in order to provide assistance to those in need, including thousands of displaced students from Southeast Texas. We are very proud of the AmeriCorps service to support our Texas community.

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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 readingpartners.org, or connect with us on LinkedInTwitter, and Facebook, to learn more.

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