Reading Partners

At a Glance

National Office: 
180 Grand Ave. Suite 800
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-444-9800

Jessica Vibberts
People Served: 
10,925
Year Founded: 
1999
Tax ID: 
77-0568469

Focus area(s):

Early Education
Reading/Math

See These Reports For More Information

Description

Reading Partners empowers low-income elementary students to reach their full potential by ensuring they have the foundational reading skills necessary for academic, professional, and life success. To support this effort, we recruit and train community volunteers to provide individualized instruction in local Title I elementary schools to struggling readers. Our student-tutor pairs work together for 45 minutes twice per week, following an individualized reading plan tailored to each student’s particular needs and strengths as well as Reading Partners’ strategic goals for student reading achievement.

Impact and Outcomes

In the 2015-16 school year, 81% of all Reading Partners’ students met or exceeded their primary end-of-year literacy growth goal.
In the 2015-16 school year, more than 90% of kindergarteners through second-graders mastered the foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.
A third-party, randomized control trial of Reading Partners’ program conducted by MDRC found that Reading Partners has a positive and statistically significant impact on three core measures of student reading proficiency: reading comprehension, reading fluency, and sight-word reading.
In the 2015-16 school year, 92% of principals reported improved school-wide reading progress thanks to their collaboration with Reading Partners
In the 2015-16 school year, 96% of community volunteers were satisfied with their experience

Matching Gift

The SIF investment, which Reading Partners received in April 2011, is a total of $3.5M over three years, and we are required to match it dollar for dollar with private philanthropy, bringing the total investment to $7.0M.

Mission & Goals

Across all 50 states, low-income youth are less likely to be reading proficiently than their higher-income peers. According to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) data, commonly known as “The Nation’s Report Card,” 80 percent of low-income fourth graders and 66 percent of all fourth graders are not proficient in reading.

 

Reading Partners’ mission is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results. We are the only national nonprofit organization with a program model that is a complete package of in-school, one-on-one literacy instruction by volunteers who are trained and supported by staff. Our intervention generates real changes in student achievement that are measurable over time.

Program

Reading Partners recruits and trains community volunteers to provide individualized instruction in local Title I elementary schools to struggling readers. Our program uses an approach customized by grade level: for kindergarteners through second-graders, we focus on students’ mastery of key foundational literacy skills; for third- and fourth-graders, we help students develop the complex literacy skills necessary to be on track for or at grade-level reading proficiency by the conclusion of the school year.

 

In each school with which we partner, Reading Partners transforms a dedicated space into a reading center and recruits at least 50 volunteer tutors to serve 40 or more students. Our student-tutor pairs work together for 45 minutes twice per week, following an individualized reading plan tailored to each student’s particular needs and strengths as well as Reading Partners’ strategic goals for student reading achievement. To execute this plan, tutors use Reading Partners’ curriculum, a series of research-based, structured lessons plans that progress from phonics instruction for early readers to comprehension strategy instruction for more advanced students. We assess students two to four times per year to monitor their progress toward pre-established grade-level achievement goals and to help advise tutors on how to best support their students.

 

Reading Partners supplements in-school tutoring with home involvement strategies such as the Take Reading Home program, which provides free age- and skill-appropriate reading materials for students to start home libraries. In addition, bi-annual reading celebration events engage parents and families to celebrate students’ progress. 

Impact

In the 2015-16 school year, Reading Partners recruited 13,502 community volunteers to serve 10,925 students in 208 partner schools. Because of the differing cognitive, developmental, and literacy-related skills required at varying grades, our outcomes are divided into to grade-appropriate milestones. We measure student outcomes using STAR Early Literacy (for kindergartners through second-graders) and STAR Reading (for third- and fourth-graders). These assessments provide rigorous, dynamic, and skill-specific pictures of our students’ progress. Students take these tests on a computer and the online testing system adapts the item difficulty to the student’s independent level, drawing from thousands of items in its test bank to give a detailed and robust picture about student reading ability. Both STAR assessments provide growth targets for students that correspond to grade level benchmarks. Our program performance targets are also based on students’ reaching benchmarks tied to grade-level expectations.

 

In the 2015-16 school year:

●        81% of all Reading Partners students met or exceeded their primary end-of-year literacy growth goal.

●        89% of kindergartners through second-graders mastered the foundational reading skills needed to read at grade level.

●        70% of third- and fourth-graders demonstrated growth in reading scores compared to a national group of peers in the same grade.

●        92% of principals reported improved school-wide reading progress, thanks to their collaboration with Reading Partners.

●        98% of teachers reported that Reading Partners is valuable to their school.

96% of volunteers were satisfied with their experience. 

Growth Plan

Reading Partners is at an exciting point in our trajectory as we shift our emphasis from literacy gains for individual students to a population-level impact on fourth grade reading proficiency in schools, districts, and communities. Because Reading Partners has demonstrated our ability to improve student outcomes and effectively scale our program, we are uniquely positioned to positively impact fourth grade reading proficiency in the United States.

 

Direct service will continue to be a critical component of our work, as we continue to grow our students served every year. Our 2018 strategic plan identifies five key pillars for expanding our reach: (1) innovating ways to maximize our impact; (2) expanding the reach of our current programs; (3) focusing program impact on fourth grade proficiency; (4) catalyzing a movement that mobilizes people; and (5) building and sustaining the infrastructure necessary for organizational growth. 

Location of Sites

National Office: 
180 Grand Ave. Suite 800
Oakland, CA 94612
Phone: 510-444-9800
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

No results found.

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2013

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$1,162,334
Foundation Grants: 
$4,230,175
Government Funding: 
$2,014,362
Contributions from Individuals: 
$1,119,010
Special Events: 
$0
Program Services Fees: 
$1,615,650
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$3,157,952
Other Revenue (Description): 
In-kind donations $1,657,952 and SIF (EMCF/SIF + Match) $1,500,000.
Total Revenue: 
$13,299,483

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$9,475,321
Occupancy: 
$1,913,816
Travel & Entertainment: 
$372,858
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$677,615
Telephone & Communications: 
$58,254
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$616,520
Other Expenses (Description): 

Accounting services, volunteer fingerprint/TB test, recruiting, curriculum and evaluation, books, equipment (laptops, printers), food/beverage, marketing/publicity, equipment rental, outside meetings/events, memberships/dues, insurance, misc. fees/taxes.

Total Expenses: 
$13,114,384

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$185,099

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2012

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$593,960
Foundation Grants: 
$2,449,390
Government Funding: 
$1,102,898
Contributions from Individuals: 
$635,576
Program Services Fees: 
$972,644
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$3,108,120
Other Revenue (Description): 
In-kind donations $1,242,517, SIF (EMCF/SIF + Match) $1,861,343, interest and other income $4,260.
Special Events: 
$0
Total Revenue: 
$8,862,588

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$5,338,398
Occupancy: 
$1,194,956
Travel & Entertainment: 
$199,509
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$558,956
Telephone & Communication: 
$57,874
Payments to Affiliates: 
$0
Other Expenses: 
$1,096,814
Other Expenses (Description): 

Recruitment, accounting services, volunteer fingerprint/TB test, recruiting, curriculum and evaluation, books, equipment (laptops, printers), food/beverage, marketing/publicity, equipment rental, outside meetings/events, memberships/dues, insurance, misc. fees/taxes.

Total Expenses: 
$8,446,507

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$416,081

Major Funders

Corporation for National and Community Service

Deerbrook Charitable Trust

Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Focusing Philanthropy

George Kaiser Family Foundation

Pearson

Target Corporation

The Duke Endowment

Tipping Point Community