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The Implementation and Effectiveness of a One-on-One Tutoring Program Delivered by Community Volunteers

Robin Tepper Jacob, Thomas J. Smith, Jacklyn Willard, and Rachel E. Rifkin (2014). The Implementation and Effectiveness of a One-on-One Tutoring Program Delivered by Community Volunteers. New York, NY: MDRC.

This policy brief tells the story of Reading Partners, a successful one-on-one volunteer tutoring program that serves struggling readers in low-income elementary schools and that has already been taken to a large scale. The brief also summarizes the early results of a program evaluation. After one year, Reading Partners boosted three different measures of reading proficiency, including reading comprehension, for second- to fifth-graders. Tutoring by community volunteers twice a week for 45 minutes each session resulted in an additional 1.5 to 2 months of growth in literacy for Reading Partners students over a control group of students who also received supplemental reading services.These encouraging results demonstrate that Reading Partners, when delivered on a large scale and implemented with fidelity, can be an effective tool for improving reading proficiency.

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