Reading Partners to Launch in DC with NewSchools Investment

Jun 18, 2010, 08:00 ET from Reading Partners

Innovative California Literacy Nonprofit to Serve Four DC Elementary Schools; More Planned

WASHINGTON, June 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Reading Partners, an Oakland, Calif., based non-profit dedicated to empowering disadvantaged children through literacy, announced that it will expand to Washington, DC.  NewSchools Venture Fund, a leading national education funder, will be anchoring the project through its DC Schools Fund.

Four DC elementary schools will participate in the first year of operations. Children reading below grade level at each school will receive focused literacy tutoring from trained community volunteers through an innovative model originally developed at Stanford University.  The program currently serves 24 elementary schools throughout California.

"We were eager to support this initiative because of the opportunities it provides for our students," says Juana Brown, Chief Academic Officer for Center City Public Charter Schools, which operates six schools in DC.  "The depth and breadth of Reading Partners' program will enhance our students' reading skills as well as promote self-esteem."

Since launching ten years ago in Silicon Valley, Reading Partners has helped thousands of children measurably narrow the achievement gap.  Its innovative model of structured volunteer intervention boasts an 87 percent success rate in helping students catch up.

"Having seen the difference Reading Partners has made for students and schools across California, we're very excited to be a part of bringing them to Washington DC," said Kim Statham, a Partner with NewSchools Venture Fund. "We see a tremendous demand for high-impact intervention programs in DC schools and believe Reading Partners will be a key player in meeting that need," Statham added.

About Reading Partners

Reading Partners is California's largest service-based intervention nonprofit, serving 24 elementary schools across the state with over 1,400 volunteer tutors.  The organization has an 87 percent success rate in narrowing achievement gaps for children who have fallen behind in reading skills.  On average, Reading Partners students gain an entire grade level for every 25 hours of one-to-one tutoring they receive.  For more information, visit

About the DC Schools Fund

NewSchools' DC Schools Fund is designed to increase the number of high-performing public schools in Washington, DC, broaden the number of effective support organizations that can help these schools address key challenges, and build a sustainable constituency for reform among families and residents.  More information at

SOURCE Reading Partners