Mobilizing Volunteer Tutors to Improve Student Literacy: Implementation, Impacts, and Costs of the Reading Partners Program

Organization: What Works Clearinghouse (Institute of Education Sciences)

This study examined whether participation in Reading Partners, a supplementary program that provides eligible elementary school students with individualized tutoring from community volunteers, had an impact on reading achievement. Students who participate in Reading Partners are in kindergarten through fifth grade, 0.5–2.5 years behind grade level in reading, conversationally fluent in English, and do not have an individualized education program. Students in both groups received their school’s standard reading curriculum and other supplementary reading programs offered by the schools. The study authors reported that the Reading Partners program led to statistically significant improvements in reading fluency, reading comprehension, and sight word efficiency (pronouncing printed words), measured with three standardized assessments. Tutoring was conducted both during school and after school.

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