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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.

"There is no substitute for books in the life of a child." — May Ellen Chase