More than four out of five. That is how many 4th graders in DC public schools read below grade-level. For students who are falling behind, early intervention is critical in securing a better future, both in school and in life. Reading Partners provides that intervention - and also opportunities for growth and advancement. At 12 elementary schools across five wards, Reading Partners transforms a simple space into a welcoming reading center stocked with books. It then trains 40-100 community volunteers at each site to provide one-on-one instruction to struggling readers from low-income communities. Tutors follow a research-based, structured curriculum; seasoned educators oversee school sites; and students are assessed three times a year to ensure forward momentum. The Take Reading Home program provides students with free, age-appropriate material to start home libraries, and a biannual Reading Recital gives students the chance to share their new skills with their families. They have plenty to share: typically students more than double their rate of learning during their time with Reading Partners. Your support opens books, and worlds, for so many.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 1; DC-Ward 4; DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 7; DC-Ward 8

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11)

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Latino/Hispanic; Other

Population(s) Served: Students; Low- to Moderate-Income Community Members

Schools They Work In: Bancroft Elementary School; Brightwood Education Campus; Center City - Capitol Hill; Center City - Shaw; Drew Elementary School; HD Cooke Elementary School; Harmony DC Public Charter School; Kimball Elementary School; Malcolm X Elementary School; Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School; Nalle Elementary School; Noyes Elementary School; Patterson Elementary School; Payne Elementary School; Potomac Preparatory Public Charter School; Seaton Elementary School; Wheatley Education Campus; Whittier Education Campus

Awards & Recognition

A randomized control trial conducted by MDRC, an independent policy research firm, found Reading Partners to have positive and statistically significant impacts on reading proficiency. The research has been accepted and highlighted by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC).

Reading Partners is a priority partner of the Empowering Males of Color initiative, DC Public Schools' effort to prepare males of color for college, careers, and beyond.


  • No stories found

Budget (FY2012)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • The current budget for Reading Partners is: $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $37 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

If you like Reading Partners you might also like

This organization collaborates with