Reading Partners Colorado 2022-23 Impact Pamphlet

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ANNUAL COLORADO IMPACT REPORT

This report is made to inform our community about how Reading Partners Colorado is impacting our local communities in Denver, Aurora, Westminster, and Jefferson County school districts.

Your dedication to breaking down barriers and reducing the opportunity gap for Title 1 students is what makes our mission possible. It is through your trust that we can begin to bridge the gaps and ensure that every child, regardless of their circumstances, has the opportunity to thrive academically.

2022-2023

DIRECTOR'S

DIRECTOR'S LETTER FROM

As you review the impressive results in this impact report, you’re looking back in time.

Back in August 2022, there were five hundred fifty students excited to meet their new teachers and reconnect with friends. Some were stepping into their first elementary school experience.

As you’ll see, those 550 students worked hard, and had fun, as they made extraordinary progress with their tutors toward their literacy goals. But this one snapshot in time doesn’t tell the whole story.

Each of those students also has a trajectory ahead. Although it’s key to look back - to mark time, to learn from challenges, to celebrate successes - the whole mission of Reading Partners is built on the hope we have for the future.

Why else would we dedicate hundreds of volunteer hours and tens of thousands of dollars?

We do so because we believe in the future of those five hundred plus children, and all the many who came before and after. We know that when all children receive the individualized support they need to reach their reading goals, they are well on their way to reaching their fulfillment as adults. Essentially, Reading Partners is a community of hope.

I invite you to please take the time to read through all the successes of this year. While you do so, also look ahead. Another cohort of young readers will enter the next school year, ready to work hard, and have fun, achieving proficient literacy.

Thank you for being partners in the hope.

Members Portfolio

Members

READINGPARTNERS COLORADOSTAFF

Portfolio

Members

Mia Smith Development Associate 3rd Year of Service Erika Stewart Senior Program Manager 5th Year of Service Josh Ehrlich Program Manager 2nd Year of Service Melissa Monforti Executive Director 1st Year of Service Brett Butler Deputy Program Director 5th Year of Service Hannah Belich Community Engagement Manager 3rd Year of Service
2AmeriCorps
4AmeriCorps
Kalian deBruyn Community Engagement Associate 5th Year of Service 5AmeriCorps
Portfolio
Members 6AmeriCorps Portfolio

READINGPARTNERSCOLORADO 2022-23ADVISORYBOARD

Tanesha Bell Colorado Department of Education Matt Daley BOARD CHAIR Virtual Armour Allison Gambill Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Kate Garvin| Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Natasha Law Prologis Michelle Roche Roche Brand Advisors Catherine Shipley Community Volunteer Karen Winbourn Community Volunteer Colin Whitenack Colin & Co. Michelle Wyman Encompass Energy Services Courtney Bartkus Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck Sandy Levine DaVita

VISION MISSION

We envision a future where all children in the U.S. have the reading skills necessary to reach their full potential.

Our mission is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results.

NEEDTOEXIST

WHY WE STILL NEED TO EXIST STATEMENTOFNEED

Reading is the foundation of all learning. It is crucial that we recognize the critical importance of reading in a student's early learning years. However, as students progress into the upper elementary grades, their education undergoes a fundamental shift. It transitions from the process of learning to read to the vital skill of reading to learn. This shift is no easy task, and is even more challenging for students hailing from systematically-disadvantaged communities. These students encounter far more significant obstacles compared to their peers in more affluent communities.

A staggering 16.3% of Colorado's K-3 students have been identified as having a significant reading deficiency, as reported in the 2020 Annual Report on the Colorado READ Act. We must address the dire need for literacy programs for over 41,000 students scattered across the entire state of Colorado.

ThetimeisnowtosupportColoradostudents.

Our community-based literacy tutoring program, particularly in grades K-4, can unlock endless opportunities for systematically-disadvantaged students. Too often this type of tutoring is reserved for students from affluent backgrounds. We are committed to bridging this gap and ensuring that historicallydisadvantaged students have equal access to the resources they need to thrive academically.

Allstudentsdeserveto learntoread.

Let's empower these students with the gift of literacy, opening doors to endless possibilities and a brighter future for our entire community.

Numberof studentsreferred in2022 700 Numberof studentsserved in2022 551

STUDENT STORYTIME LILY

For many students, one-onone support can be invaluable for growing confidence and skills in reading. Reading Partners is a resource that makes this dynamic a reality for students in Title I schools, connecting students who often may not have this opportunity otherwise.

Students are referred by their tea volunteer tutor for two 30-45 min flourish academically and emotio individualized attention.

One such student is Lily [anonym who always comes running from Lily's skills were significantly beh was beginning to suffer She has shared with her tutors that she lives with her grandmother and siblings and has had a very turbulent home life prior to moving in with her grandmother. At the beginning of her enrollment with Reading Partners, she expressed that it was challenging to read at home because her older siblings would make fun of her and her grandmother would get frustrated with her.

Lily's tutors have focused on helping her build the literacy skills she needs so that she can catch up to her peers and operate in her classroom to her fullest potential. The RP program allows for a student to be placed at a precise level that matches their current skills so that they are working on material that will help them grow without being too overwhelming.

Lily's tutors have been working on vocabulary and fluency in reading, as well as confidence. The tutors are always patient, supportive, and eager to get creative in helping her with new skills she may need extra help understanding. Lily's confidence and reading ability have both flourished with the individualized attention she receives. Her test scores have increased significantly, and she is now eager to tackle challenges that come up in her lessons with a can-do attitude, thanks to the gentle support offered by her tutors.

In addition to their scheduled sessions, each student is encouraged to take a book with them to keep and read at home Lily's tutors have helped her pick books at her skill level so that she can practice with her grandmother. Her grandmother sent a hand-written thank you note to her tutors for sending the right books, and Lily now talks about the stories they read together rather than the frustration reading used to cause at home.

Every Reading Center operated by Reading Partners supports scores of students like Lily; students with unique stories, struggles, and strengths who often just need a little extra attention in order for their skills to take off and grow.

E: kim.johnson@readingpartners.org

STRENGTHS

Impact

As a top-tier nonprofit known for its extensive third-party research, Reading Partners continues to set the bar for data collection to ensure our students and tutors are achieving progress throughout the year. AmeriCorps members greatly contribute to many data collection efforts day-today and offer opportunities for our region to problem-solve and adapt lessons as student assessments and lessons are completed. Additionally, our national organization is the recipient of a five-year $8 million Education, Innovation, and Research grant from the U.S. Department of Education to evaluate the effectiveness and scalability of our virtual tutoring model through a third-party randomized control trial study led by MDRC.

Volunteers

Our volunteers drive our organization further by providing individualized instruction for our students every day. Whether you're a retired professional or a student in college, the time you take out of your day to support students in reaching their full potential is everything to our students. We are beyond grateful for our many Colorado volunteers. From our longtime tutors to our first-year tutors, we cannot provide our individualized instruction and fulfill our community-based approach to literacy intervention without you. Thank you for believing in educational equity and volunteering your time in our partner schools.

Data

Each year, the Reading Partners' organization continues to significantly grow students' literacy growth goals and mastery of key foundational reading skills. We put students first based on the data we track, assessments we complete, and progress monitoring we provide throughout the school year. Data drives our decisions so that we can have a meaningful impact on student literacy growth. Since reading is the foundation of learning, our students can also have an advantage to learn more in other core academics. Check out our 202223 student performance results in our most recent impact report below.

AmeriCorps Recruitment

Our national organization's ability to recruit AmeriCorps members has decreased over the past few years for a variety of reasons including the impacts of Covid, inflation, and the high costs of living in Denver that have deflated the appeal to national service. This is not to negate the fact that our organization has had significant success and impact with AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps has worked to increase the living stipend, which is also increased for returning senior members, and we expect to continue this partnership moving forward. Reading Partners Colorado is also lucky to have a strong core group of senior members return year after year that strengthens our impact and capacity as a region.

CHALLENGES

Teacher Shortage

This is no new challenge but one that persists and is palpable throughout many school cultures in Colorado. RPCO is aware of how students are negatively affected by teacher shortages. Compounded on this issue is the fear of school shootings and school safety that can make teaching an even more precarious career path. Teachers have repeatedly asked for more support from the state legislature. A 2021 house bill was passed to support high-impact tutoring programs that school districts can apply for also encourages programs to allow tutors to gain certifications in teaching with the hopes of certifying and gaining more teachers to the field. More information here. RPCO is working on helping our partner schools advocate for this funding to help our students succeed.

Rebuilding Budget

This upcoming year will be filled with foundation, corporate, and individual opportunities to strengthen our diverse revenue streams as we enter a new fiscal year with a new permanent Executive Director, Melissa Monforti. We are excited to bring back our virtual tutoring platform (Reading Partners Connects, RPCx) in the future to reach more rural students across the state.

2021 THROUGH 2023

How much has our region grown our impact over the past three academic years?

Theacademicyearof2020-2021wasmarkedwith challengesandbarriersinservingstudentsamidstthe Covidpandemic.Howwasanin-personliteracy interventionnonprofiteversupposedtosurviveCovid? Withmorestudentsoutoftheclassroomlearning remotelyin2020,weknewthatthetimetoserveTitle1 studentswasmoreimportantthaneverbefore Thus,in 2021ournationalorganizationpivotedandlauncheda virtualtutoringplatformcalledReadingPartners

Connects(RPCx) RPCxhelpedcontinuetoservestudents amidstaglobalpandemicandweareproudofour students'successontheplatform Ifyouhaven'theard, ReadingPartnerswillreceive$8millioninEducation InnovationandResearch(EIR)fundingfromtheU.S. DepartmentofEducationoverfiveyearsforMDRCto evaluatetheeffectivenessandscalabilityofRPCx This fundingwillenableReadingPartnerstoexpandour research-basedcurriculumtoreachmoreruralstudents acrossColoradoandthenation RPCxhasbeena profoundvehicleinprovidingmoreaccesstoliteracy interventionthaneverbeforeandourregionisthrilledto re-launchitagaininthenearfuturetoreachmorerural communitiesacrossthestate

As a symptom of the pandemic, many tutors were extremely hesitant to return to in-person tutoring in 20212022. In 2021, the Colorado region recruited 701 community tutors. This number dropped to 513 in 2022. Our community engagement goals for 2023 included recruiting and training 692 tutors as we rebound from the pandemic and we're excited to see this number soar past our 2023 goal! This has opened a conversation with our development team to start cultivating partnerships with rural schools that would be interested in RPCx expansion This would allow our region to achieve hybrid programming of both in-person and virtual tutoring across the state Many other regions in our national organization in 2023 have begun hybrid programming efforts and Colorado is excited to make this a reality in the coming future Can you imagine how many more sessions students could complete with more virtual tutors? The Colorado region is looking to the future and creating likeminded relationships as our communities rebound from the lingering effects of Covid

2021 2022 2023
Students 258 551 556 Partner Schools
9 12 11 Tutors 701 513 786 Sessions Completed 5,490 13,989 18,557
Morestudentsandpartnerschoolsserved
Less tutors as a result of the Covid pandemic

Reading Partners Colorado Operating Budget

July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023

Reading Partners Colorado (RPCO) is committed to informing our community about our regional finances. As a supporter, our region wants to be clear about what it takes to deliver our high-impact tutoring program for 500+ students and 700+ tutors. We are prudently working to strengthen our regional revenue streams and finding effective ways to ensure the financial burden does not fall upon our Title 1 partner schools already affected by significant budgeting concerns.

SHARONBROOME 2022TUTOROFTHEYEAR

For the 2022 school year, Sharon was selected as Reading Partners Colorado Tutor of the Year for her inspiring 8 years of continued support amounting to an immense 1,041 sessions all within the Kaiser Elementary community. Sharon is a part of the Colorado region's Tutor Advisory Committee and supports the region's grant-writing efforts. Check out my discussion with her in March of 2023 below!

Mia: Sharon, when you first moved to Colorado how did you first hear of our organization and what sparked your interest in our work?

Sharon: After retiring and moving to Colorado in 2015 I searched for a volunteer position in literacy that was making a measurable difference in children’s lives. Reading Partners piqued my interest. I wanted to give back to the community in which I lived and recognized that they had to meet high-quality standards to be a partner agency with AmeriCorps. Their model worked! And their program offered flexibility and support to tutors like myself who were new to teaching. I was welcomed with open arms!

M: Amazing, Sharon. What's your educational background and has this influenced your commitment to our students?

S: My career started as a Registered Nurse in a variety of settings. Nursing often involves patient teaching and offers the experience of interacting with various personalities. After receiving an MS in Nursing Administration in Florida, I taught healthcare courses to state college students. I saw how these students’ lives changed, both academically and personally. I saw proud students graduate who had been the first in their families to go to college. This cemented my commitment to continue teaching children and youth of color, affected by poverty and lack of resources.

M: Thank you for sharing, Sharon. Last year you completed 126 student sessions and are on track to surpass that number this year. What has kept you a part of our mission-driven work for the past 8 years?

S: I see the results! Students come to us with feelings of embarrassment and fear of failure. They tell us they “can’t read” or “don’t like to read”. By the end of the school year, many of them have changed into more-confident children, scoring better on their reading exams, and being able to participate in reading projects at their class level. As a tutor, I benefit from the ongoing support, the relevant workshops I receive, and the opportunity to serve wherever and whenever I’m needed. I enjoy every day I tutor for Reading Partners! It fulfills me and the children whom I tutor. What more could one ask for?

M: Wow, Sharon. Your dedication with students is so moving and inspiring. One last question for you. Here at Reading Partners we dream of a world where all children in the US have the reading skills necessary to reach their full potential. What is a dream you have for the students you work with?

S: I dream that every child in the US who could benefit from tutoring is able to receive it. I also dream that each child in our program leaves with an improved ability to read, a better self-perception, and a newfound confidence that they can overcome difficulties in the future. I love having students who’ve “graduated” from the tutoring program come back to the classroom, to offer a hug and a thank you to let us know how they’re doing.

"Sharonisinvestedintheprogramandthe students'success.Aswellas,supportingnew tutorsduringourTutorTeameetings!"
- Sr. Program Coordinator, Robyn Fisk

ANNUAL COLORADO IMPACT REPORT

We are immensely grateful for your unwavering commitment to educational equity, particularly for the over 500 Title 1 students in Colorado. Your belief in the power of equal access to education is truly inspiring. By envisioning a future where every child in the United States possesses the essential reading skills needed to reach their full potential, you are paving the way for transformative change.

On behalf of the Colorado students whose lives you are positively impacting, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. Your belief in the inherent potential of every child and your commitment to educational equality are shaping a brighter future for our community and beyond.

2022-2023 readingpartners.org/colorado 1600 N. Downing Street Suite 220, Denver, CO, 80218 (720) - 409 - 9909

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