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April 8, 2016

Reading Partners shares inspiring volunteerism stories during National Volunteer Week

For Immediate Release

Jessica Risenhoover, Senior Community Engagement Manager, Reading Partners Tulsa


(Tulsa, OK) April 8, 2016 — Reading Partners is a national nonprofit that collaborates with community volunteers and local public schools in Tulsa 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 Tulsa and across its 14 regions.

“Tulsa’s more than 1,600 volunteers have helped more than 1,000 students get closer to reading proficiency in the 2015-16 school year,” said Elizabeth Vereecke, Executive Director at Reading Partners Tulsa. “With more than half of Tulsa third graders reading below proficient levels, we are energized by the dedication of these volunteers to enact change in our community.”

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

  1. Breast cancer survivor volunteers with new lease on life — reads weekly with her student from Sequoyah Elementary.

  2. When Vicki retired in April of 2015, volunteering for Reading Partners was a top priority for her. When she worked in the school system, she saw how much getting kids caught up to grade level made a difference. After kicking off her tutoring by filling four sessions per week, she got so much out of the experience that she now does six sessions every week.

Today, only one in four Oklahoma fourth graders is reading at grade level. 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 Tulsa 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.

“In elementary school, I had a difficult time reading,” said Ruth Ann, a Reading Partners tutor at MacArthur Elementary in Tulsa. “Looking back I see how many people cared and helped me overcome my obstacles…Now, I get to pass on some of the fun games and little rhymes that I learned to help me read.”

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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