In 2016, the foundation provided continued support to READ Alliance, formerly the Reading Excellence and Discovery Foundation (READ), which was established to address the high proportion of New York City students demonstrating below grade-level reading skills. READ has established a research-based educational approach that yields measurable results while offering growth opportunities for economically disadvantaged New York City teens. The program model positions academically successful seventh- through 12th-grade students who are trained as tutors to work with at-risk Kindergarten through second-grade students.
In 2015 and 2016, READ’s Summer Reading Program targeted children at nine New York City partner sites with critical reading intervention services delivered in a one-to-one instructional model by teen tutors. Children attend the Summer Reading Program four to five days each week, for a total of approximately 45 tutoring sessions, and participate in additional one-on-one tutoring sessions with literacy activities that support their reading. In 2016, 73 percent of the children who completed the Summer Reading Program improved their reading skills by at least one full grade level and an additional 20 percent of the children improved their reading skills by at least .5 grade level. The average reading gain achieved by the children who completed the program was 1.17 grade levels and 51 percent of students who completed the 2016 Summer Reading Program are now reading on grade level.