Reading Partners

This meeting was unusual since our President was sick with strep throat and the ever ready Michael DiGrazia, past President, took the reins and ran the meeting like a pro that he is.Our keynote speaker was a very poised and talented Rachael Valler from Reading Partners, a non-profit organization formed to help improve the reading skills of school age children.
Only 40% of third graders are reading at grade level. What that means is that the remaining 60%, unless something changes are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Reading Partners was formed in 1999 to try and make a difference for those 60% kids. As a national nonprofit, it partners with under-resourced schools and engage volunteer reading partners (community tutors) to help students who struggle with reading unlock and develop the foundational skills they need to succeed in school and in life.
So what does that really mean? It means that Reading Partners puts its volunteers into Title 1 schools (those schools with atleast 40% of students come from low-income families) to make a difference. Reading Partners has over 8,500 students and 12,000 volunteers nationwide making a difference every week.
What happens is that it takes 30 to 70 kids from first to fourth grade, in a classroom setting and provides hand-on training on a one to one basis. Volunteers are trained and then work with the same student, for an hour each week, reading with them and helping them read and understand what they are reading.
The record of success is amazing. Ninety-two percent of the students in this program double their monthly rate of learning. In Sacramento 569 students receive weekly one-on-one training from 532 community volunteers, which means that some of the volunteers are doing more than one hour a week!
Seventy-two percent of the students ended the school term closer to their grade level. Reading Partners has been service Sacramento since 2009. It began partnering with AmericCorps in 2010.
Its evidence-based curriculum, delivered by volunteers from the community, has been found to have positive and statistically significant impact on three different measures of student reading proficiency - reading comprehension, fluency and sight-word reading. If you wnat to be one of their volunteers like our own Steve Mauch, visit their website at
Our next meeting will be off-site at Klumpp's Funeral Home where our President will give us a tour of the facility. This will start at 5pm ending with Happy Hour at Riverside Clubhouse.