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October 5, 2017

Reading Partners Twin Cities Announces Strong Student Results and a New Executive Director

For Immediate Release


Brooke Rivers

Executive Director, Reading Partners Twin Cities

(612) 281-1558  |


Award winner to lead the early literacy nonprofit as it seeks more community tutors in Minneapolis and Saint Paul in 2017-18

(St. Paul, MN) October 4, 2017 —  Brooke Rivers, a 2011 winner of the Catalytic Leader of the Year award by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, has recently taken over as the Executive Director of Reading Partners Twin Cities. Rivers started her career serving two terms as an AmeriCorps VISTA member where she developed a passion for service and a belief that anyone has the ability to change the world. Rivers subsequently spent eight years on the College Possible leadership team—both in the Twin Cities office and as part of the national team—developing and leading College Possible’s College Program. Most recently, Rivers served as Program Director of Reading Partners Twin Cities where she has overseen strong growth within the region. Rivers holds degrees in anthropology, Spanish, and English literature from Bethel University in Saint Paul.

Rivers is taking the helm at Reading Partners Twin Cities 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 Twin Cities 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.

“While there is no doubt that Minnesota faces a stubborn achievement gap challenge, proven interventions like Reading Partners can help significantly narrow the divide in both opportunity and achievement,” said Brooke Rivers, Executive Director of Reading Partners Twin Cities.

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 Twin Cities region:

    • 462 students were matched with 550 community volunteers at 11 partner schools who delivered a total of 16,502 tutoring sessions over the course of the year.

    • Among Reading Partners’ youngest students in Twin Cities, 90% mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

    • Based on survey responses, 100% of principals report improved school-wide reading progress, 98% 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 Twin Cities here.

    • Learn about Reading Partners’ national impact here.

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. On a local level, as highlighted recently in the StarTribune: “Five years ago, Minnesota set an ambitious goal of cutting the achievement gap in half by 2017. But in the four years since it introduced a tough new reading test, the gaps in results between white and minority students statewide have barely budged in reading and math.”

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 700 community volunteers with 600 struggling readers in Twin Cities. 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.

In the most recent end-of-year tutor survey, one of Reading Partners Twin Cities’ tutors commented, “It sounds cliché but I learned as much about myself as a person as my student learned this year; we are both successful and determined learners! We enjoyed getting to know each other and working hard. You can’t say that about most other hours you’ll spend in a week.”

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.

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

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