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Reading grades studied

2 – 5

Reading Partners

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Reading Partners is a one-to-one tutoring program delivered by community volunteers who are recruited, trained, and supported by Reading Partners staff and AmeriCorps members at a reading center within a school. The program serves students in grades 2-4 who are reading one to twenty five months below grade level, are fluent in English, and do not have IEPs. Students attend 45-minute individualized sessions twice each week. Each tutoring session follows a consistent structure. The tutor reads to the student, stopping to ask comprehension questions. The tutor then uses specific materials to introduce specific reading skills. Finally, the student reads aloud to the tutor and practices the new skill. The tutor provides feedback and coaching following prompts built into the curriculum. Reading Partners requires partner schools to have a dedicated space for a reading center, usually a classroom. Reading Partners then provides a full-time site coordinator to manage the program and recruits community volunteers as tutors.

Program Outcomes

A large, randomized control trial study conducted by MDRC found that in comparison to students who did not receive Reading Partners tutoring (two-thirds of whom received other supplemental literacy services), those who received Reading Partners tutoring gained significantly more on SAT-10 comprehension and other outcomes, for a total effect size of +0.10. This qualified Reading Partners for the ESSA “Strong” category.

Staffing Requirements

AmeriCorps members and volunteers are required.

Professional Development/Training

AmeriCorps members and program managers receive two weeks of training before school opens, plus monthly in-services during the year. Volunteer tutors receive one hour of training plus ongoing supervision.


Classroom or dedicated space for reading center with an internet connection.