Over half of New York City students in grades 3 through 8 are not proficient in reading, which results in increased high school and junior high school drop-out rates. To address this issue, we support Read Alliance (formerly the Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation), which provides early literacy intervention to K-2nd graders in schools and community-based organizations throughout New York City. READ Alliance uses a research-based educational approach that yields measurable results while also offering growth opportunities for New York City teens; all programming is taught by paid, economically-disadvantaged, mostly minority youth.
Read Alliance partners with local middle and high schools to recruit academically-successful teens and then pairs them with at-risk elementary school students. This allows READ Alliance to operate in areas that aren’t as accessible by train and therefore would be difficult to get volunteers to, such as East New York, and enables teens to gain meaningful work experience as reading tutors (they are trained in phonics-based curriculum, data collection, and behavior management).
Our support of a pilot virtual one-on-one tutoring program for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade resulted in participants’ average reading level gains of 0.72 levels. Read Alliance used learnings from this pilot to inform how to best implement virtual tutoring programming during the 2020-2021 academic year.