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October 3, 2017

Reading Partners is a proven program intervention for students and schools in Baltimore


Jeffrey Zwillenberg

Executive Director, Reading Partners Baltimore

(410) 585-4446  |


The early literacy nonprofit seeks more community tutors in 2017-18

(Baltimore, MD) October 3, 2017 — In the 2016-17 school year, Reading Partners continued to build on its history of successfully advancing early literacy in the Baltimore 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 and include the following highlights.

In the Baltimore region

    • 1,000 students were matched with 935 community volunteers at 19 partner schools who delivered a total of over 36,500 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students in Baltimore, 81% mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses, 100% of principals report improved school-wide reading progress, 97% of teachers report Reading Partners is valuable to their school and 95% of volunteers were satisfied with their Reading Partners experience.

    • Learn more about Reading Partners’ impact in Baltimore here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

“The strength of Reading Partners comes from our community,” said Jeffrey Zwillenberg, executive director of the Baltimore region. “We know reading has the power to transform a child’s life, and that our students have the ability to succeed. One of the keys to unlocking their potential is providing them with one-on-one, consistent engagement with caring, volunteer tutors. By giving as little as 45 minutes, twice a week, Reading Partners’ volunteers are helping to secure a brighter future for our students and our city.”

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 900 struggling readers in Baltimore. 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.

“I was hesitant at first given I do not know how to teach literacy. That’s a huge responsibility that can greatly impact a student’s later success,” said Katie Sanders of Hord Coplan Macht, Inc. “Reading Partners makes it easy for anyone to come in and help. The program provides us with all the resources necessary, from lesson plans to in-center support, to make a difference and teach a child how to read.”

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.

Above — A Reading Partners volunteer tutor works with a student (Photo Credit: Reading Partners)


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 to learn more about our program impact, or connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

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