Reading Partners

Reading Partners helps elementary school students who are struggling with reading accelerate their pace before it’s too late and improve their reading skills.

Reading Partners operates reading centers in schools in low-income communities where trained, supervised volunteers provide one-on-one literacy tutoring twice weekly during and after the school day. The program targets the highest-need students, identified as six to 30 months behind grade level in reading.

Results from a randomized controlled trial by MDRC, involving more than 1,200 students in three states, found that the program had a positive impact on reading comprehension, fluency, and sight-word reading. It also included a cost analysis which revealed that the Reading Partners program is substantially less costly for schools to implement than typical literacy interventions. 

2014 Highlights

  • An MDRC policy brief highlighted initial implementation and positive impact findings from the randomized controlled trial evaluation of Reading Partners.
  • Reading Partners opened two new sites in Seattle and is now operating in over 170 sites in eight states and Washington, DC

  • It continued to expand and strengthen its leadership team by hiring a Chief Financial Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Chief Development Officer, Chief of Staff, and Communications Director.

Youth Served

Revenue (in millions)


Advancement in reading level by participants receiving at least 16 hours of one-on-one tutoring (1 = one grade level)
  • Legend:
  • Actual
  • Projected