About Reading Partners

Since 1999, Reading Partners has been dedicated to closing the achievement gap by helping elementary students from low-income communities to boost their reading confidence and competence. Reading Partners does this by collaborating with Title I schools and community volunteers to increase the amount of time and personnel available during the school day to deliver data-driven, one-on-one tutoring to K-4 students.

The Need and Opportunity

According to the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress in 2016, in Los Angeles only 35 percent of 3rd and 4th grade students are reading at grade level. In Pasadena, 58 percent of students are not proficient by 4th grade. The Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) and Reading Partners are collaborating to address this problem.  

There is now a unique opportunity in the Pasadena community to scale to impact at least 500 students annually in the Pasadena Unified School District and to have a substantially larger impact on reading proficiency district-wide. With the support of the local funding community, Reading Partners plans to more than triple its impact in the Pasadena Unified School District, increasing the number of students served annually from 163 in 2013-2014, to 500 by 2019.

In 2015-2016, Reading Partners students achieved the following outcomes: 93% of K-2nd graders mastered grade-appropriate foundational literacy skills. 78% of third- and fourth-grade students demonstrated growth compared to a national group of peers. 79% of students showed improvement in general academic behaviors, such as class participation and regular homework completion.

2017 Match Opportunity

With generous support from the Helen and Will Webster Foundation, Focusing Philanthropy is leading and funding a 1:1 matching campaign to raise $500,000, to enable Reading Partners to take the next step in the 500 Students campaign during the 2017-18 academic year. Through October 31 , 2017, gifts in support of the Reading Partners Pasadena expansion will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to the $500,000 total goal. When combined with other funding already committed, this will enable Reading Partners to serve at least 365 students at seven Pasadena elementary schools (grown from three schools in 2013).

To qualify for this matching campaign, donations are made through Focusing Philanthropy, a 501c3 registered nonprofit organization. Gifts are tax-deductible for U.S. taxpayers and Focusing Philanthropy will deliver 100% of your donation to Reading Partners.

About Reading Partners in Pasadena 

Reading Partners began programming in Pasadena in 2008 at Washington Accelerated Elementary when the program first expanded to Los Angeles. With the support of 2014-2017 matching campaigns led by Focusing Philanthropy, Reading Partners in Pasadena has grown to serve 338 PUSD students at 7 schools in the 2016-2017 school year.

In coordination with the Pasadena Unified School District, plans are underway for Reading Partners to serve 365 students at 7 PUSD schools in the 2017-2018 school year.