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The Literacy Challenge

Literacy is the foundation for learning across subjects. Without strong literacy skills, students will not have equitable access to higher education institutions to further their education and career options will be limited.


According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 32 percent of our nation’s fourth graders can read proficiently, on average. Students in marginalized communities are disproportionally impacted by a lack of literacy support and resources, resulting in only 19 percent of students who qualify for free or reduced-cost lunch, 17 percent of Black students, and 21 percent of Hispanic students being able to read proficiently by the fourth grade (as reported by 2022 NAEP results). These numbers have decreased since 2019 due to learning loss caused by pandemic-related school closures. Once students start to fall behind in reading, they tend to fall faster and further behind their peers with each year.

Reading Partners works with schools and communities to empower students through literacy skill building. Our evidence-based curriculum, delivered by volunteers from the community, has been found to have positive and statistically significant impact on three different measures of student reading proficiency: reading comprehension, fluency, and sight-word reading.

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