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....