Reading Partners Celebrates 20 Years Success; Spruce Elementary School One of the Beneficiaries

South San Francisco, CA   October 16, 2018

The Reading Partners program has had a very positive impact on our students at Spruce Elementary School the past six years, having started in 2013. This year they are serving 65 students and last year 74 of our students received the benefits of this program. In the first three years at Spruce Elementary 182 students were served! These Spruce Elementary School students are able to utilize the reading center Monday through Friday 8:00AM until 4:00PM and this program continues to be a success as evident by the words written by one of our Spruce Teachers;

“I love that with Reading Partners, the kids have one-on-one check-ins with another adult. Having that one person really makes a difference. While some kids in class never bring back their homework, Reading Partners kids are excited to bring their homework back and to have a book to share with their parents. All of my kids in Reading Partners have made huge progress and have all met their kindergarten benchmarks.” Teacher, Spruce Elementary


More on the Reading Partners program by the Reading Partners Development Director Michelle Collier: 

Reading Partners enters its 20th anniversary year of recruiting and placing reading volunteers in schools, with new data that shows 81% of students in the program regionally met or exceeded their literacy end-of-year growth goals in 2017-2018. The early literacy nonprofit is on a mission to recruit more volunteers and partner with more schools as it plans to also celebrate two decades of increasingly successful community partnerships.

“Today’s data continues a trend that underscores what we know: children’s literacy is a problem that we can solve,” said Karine Apollon, CEO of Reading Partners. During the 2017-18 school year, Reading Partners mobilized and placed more than 12,000 volunteers in 200+ schools across the country. In the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes schools in Oakland and San Francisco, Reading Partners placed 1,424 volunteers in 30 schools.

“With metrics like these–our priority is to use every opportunity we have to ask people to find one hour a week to tutor a child in a school and help build on these encouraging numbers,” said Aarika Riddle, Executive Director of the SF Bay Area region of Reading Partners.

Reading Partners tutors and students (Photo credit: Reading Partners)

Each September Reading Partners issues national and regional impact reports, and highlights from the San Francisco Bay Area region include:

  • 100% of teachers who responded to an end-of year survey say Reading Partners is valuable to their school.

  • 87% of K-2 students mastered key foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

  • 96% of volunteers are satisfied with their Reading Partners experience.

  • Nearly 1,500 K-3 students were matched with volunteer tutors at 30 schools.

  • K-3 students received more 46,000 tutoring sessions or an average of 31 tutoring sessions per student last year.

  • Discover details about Reading Partners’ 2017-18 national impact here.

Fourth grade is a critical year for students; it’s when they stop receiving literacy instruction in class because teachers assume they have made the switch from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn.’ In fourth grade, struggling readers begin to fall further behind in all subjects, not just reading, and the opportunity gap widens.

Reading Partners focuses on helping students to read at grade level by the fourth grade because students who do not, are four times more likely to drop out of high school (Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation).

“We must make the connection between the economic disparity among students based on where they live and reading proficiency, ” said Riddle. “Early literacy is also  a social justice issue,” she said. Today, with the help of AmeriCorps volunteers, Reading Partners volunteers have delivered more than 1.5 million one-on-one tutoring sessions nationwide over the last 20 years.

In the 2018-19 school year, Reading Partners has a goal to recruit 1,670 volunteers–retirees, students, employees with flex time who can spend one hour a week reading to a kindergartner, first-, second-, or third-grade student.

The 2017-2018 impact reports are made possible through the generous participation of thousands of community volunteers. Details on Reading Partners volunteer program live here.

Reading opens the door to the world!
(Photo credit: Reading Partners)


About Reading Partners
For 20 years, Reading Partners has empowered 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 mobilized nearly 55,000 community volunteers to provide proven, individualized literacy tutoring to more than 50,000 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 Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.


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