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Tutors needed in under-resourced schools to provide literacy support

11/18/2016, 6 a.m.
Learning to read proficiently in elementary school plays a crucial role in helping students achieve success, and Reading Partners is ...
Reading Partners’ volunteers help thousands of students make the all-important shift from learning to read, to reading to learn. A Reading Partners tutor works with a student. Courtesy Photo/Reading Partners

— In the wake of a long, divisive campaign season, investing in community engagement and striving to bridge cultural and class divides has renewed importance. One thing that nearly everyone agrees with is that we want to provide educational opportunity to all children so they can pursue their dreams with purpose.

Learning to read proficiently in elementary school plays a crucial role in helping students achieve success, and Reading Partners is a place where communities can truly come together in service of that common objective.

Reading Partners is a national nonprofit that collaborates with community volunteers and local public schools in Baltimore 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 in Baltimore since 2012. It is critical that Reading Partners students are enrolled in the program before the holiday season in order to maximize the number of tutoring sessions they receive and put them on the best path to proficiency. Currently, there are over 500 students at 19 elementary schools waiting for tutors in Baltimore City.

Reading Partners volunteers are matched one-on-one with students in kindergarten through fourth grade who are reading anywhere from a few months to two and a half years below grade level. Volunteers utilize an easy-to-follow, individualized lesson plan each week, specific to their students’ needs in order to meet them at their level and help build both literacy skills and confidence. Tutors typically commit to one hour a week with the same student for the duration of the academic school year.

“The sense of accomplishment and joy that Reading Partners has brought into my life is really difficult to put into words. Thanks to Reading Partners, I have made a difference in children’s lives and that makes me so abundantly happy,” said Pat Yeager, a third-year tutor at the Historic Samuel Coleridge Taylor Elementary School.

There are countless inspiring stories of high-impact volunteerism taking place in Reading Partners reading centers in Baltimore.

Today, only one in five fourth graders from low-income families reads 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 Baltimore and across the United States, Reading Partners’ volunteers help thousands of students make the all-important shift from learning to read to reading to learn.

To become a tutor or to learn more, visit: ReadingPartners.org/locations/baltimore.

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 11,000 elementary school students in under-resourced schools across ten states and the District of Columbia during the 2016-17 school year.