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 the program in Spring 2022 led to 0.97 reading level gains on average for those students who attended 65% or more of the sessions offered.
We are further supporting READ in its planning of a program to create a pipeline to college and careers in education for selected READ teen tutors, particularly for young men of color who are under-represented in the field of education.