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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.

"The man who does not read good books is no better than the man who can't." — Mark Twain