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

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

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 summarizes the early results of an evaluation that was conducted during the 2012-2013 school year in 19 schools in three states, and which involved 1,265 students. The evaluation finds positive impacts of the program on three different measures of reading proficiency: reading comprehension, reading fluency, and sight-word reading — that equaled 1.5 to 2 months of growth in literacy achievement. Reading Partners program was effective for a wide variety of students — from different grades or baseline reading achievement levels, male and female students, and for those who are not native English speakers.

"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox