New Research Shows Success of Tutoring Program

Posted by Corporation for National and Community Service on June 16, 2014

I am excited to share a new report that shows encouraging findings from a rigorous evaluation of Reading Partners.

This one-on-one tutoring program engages AmeriCorps members to lead volunteers who help struggling readers in low-income elementary schools. The Social Innovation Fund, AmeriCorps, and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation support this successful program.

The preliminary research, conducted by independent nonprofit firm MDRC, includes the following findings:

  • 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 tutored students.
  • The 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.
  • Additional analyses suggest that Reading Partners may have been particularly effective for the lowest-achieving students.
  • Reading Partners, when delivered on a large scale and implemented with fidelity, can be an effective tool for improving reading proficiency.

We’re proud of our partnership with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and thrilled to be a co-investor in Reading Partners’ transformational work. The program perfectly exemplifies our goal of finding what works and making it work for more people. Their positive evaluation results clearly demonstrate how our nation’s children benefit from organizations like Reading Partners that are committed to innovation, impact, and results.

I hope you will take a moment to read about the findings and share with your colleagues!

Also, please check out the article that Education Week wrote about the report.


Michael Smith, Director
Social Innovation Fund
Corporation for National and Community Service

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