Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Studies Impact of Volunteerism

Friday, March 6, 2015
Edna McConnell Clark Foundation Studies Impact of Volunteerism
Community volunteers and AmeriCorps members can make a significant impact on student reading proficiency and are a low cost option for schools, according to the results of a study by MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research firm.  The yearlong randomized control trial examined Reading Partners, a national nonprofit organization that engages volunteers to deliver a structured, evidence-based curriculum through one-on-one tutoring to struggling readers in low-income communities. 
The study found that Reading Partners boosted three different measures of reading proficiency over a control group of students, many of whom also received supplemental reading services.  It also included a cost analysis, which revealed that the Reading Partners program is substantially less costly for schools to implement than typical literacy interventions.  
Nationwide, two out of three fourth-graders are reading below grade level, and almost one-third of children lack even basic reading skills. Children who struggle with reading in elementary school are at high risk of academic failure, high school dropout, and other negative outcomes....
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