Improving Literacy: A Simple Idea, Extraordinary Results

If You’re Reading This Message, You’re Lucky

Reading is a critical part of daily life. Simple dinner recipes, street signs, text messages – it’s hard to imagine life without this skill. For the 32 million American adults who cannot read this message, however, it is a reality.

The path leading to illiteracy starts at an early age. Nationwide, 66 percent of students, and 82 percent of low-income students, cannot read proficiently by the fourth grade. These numbers have not changed significantly in the past 15 years. South Carolina ranks as the 13th highest illiterate population in the United States. Four out of five low-income 4th grade students in South Carolina fail to read proficiently – making them four times less likely than their peers to graduate from high school.

Reading Partners: A Simple Idea, Extraordinary Results
Reading is fundamental to a child’s academic success — and their future. Reading Partners, a national literacy nonprofit, is committed to making sure students at risk of reading failure receive the attention they need to  succeed. Trained, committed community volunteers work one-on-one with students, delivering a simple, proven curriculum each week to help the child begin to gain lost ground.

A student identified for Reading Partners is reading anywhere between 0.5 to 2.5 years behind grade level. On average, our students double their rate of literacy learning while enrolled in the Reading Partners’ program.

Reading Partners’ Impact
Nationally, Reading Partners serves 8,500 students with the support of 15,000 volunteers in 12 different metro-areas. In Charleston, Reading Partners is serving 12 schools and more than 500 students. 700 community volunteers visit our centers each week to work one-on-one with their students, producing encouraging results. At mid-year, 86% of third to fifth grade students had increased their rate of literacy learning.

Reading Partners Charleston has only just begun the fight against illiteracy. There are still hundreds of struggling readers who need the extra support that will eventually lead them to high school graduation, college, and the workforce.

On May 5th, Reading Partners will participate in LOWCOUNTRY GIVING DAY. Lowcountry Giving Day is a 24-hour online giving event that will allow Literacy Champions across the country to ensure that Reading Partners Charleston reaches its goal of serving 1,000 Readers in the Lowcountry. Please join Reading Partners Charleston on this exciting day to give our students the opportunity for a brighter future.

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