Our mission is to substantially increase reading abilities of the elementary school students we serve. Below is a snapshot of the current literacy picture in under-resourced communities and the strides we’re making with TutorMate.


The Literacy Gap Starts Early

Research has shown that if a child is poor reader at the end of first grade, there is an 88% chance that the same child will be a poor reader at the end of fourth grade (Juel, 1988). Additionally, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, one in six children who are not reading proficiently in third grade do not graduate from high school on time, a rate four times greater than that for proficient readers.

Instead of waiting to address literacy issues in the third or fourth grade, the TutorMate program aims to help students read at grade level by the end of first grade – setting students up for reading enthusiasm and scholastic success early on.

The Impact of 1:1 Reading

A student reading at the 30th percentile is reading an average of 106,000 words per year. With just an additional 10 minutes per day of reading practice, a student’s words per year can increase to 695,000 which in effect moves the student to the 70th percentile (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1998; Anderson, Wilson, and Fielding, 1988).

The TutorMate program connects community volunteers to read with local, at-risk students for 30 minutes each week, all from the convenience of their workspace. In addition to grade level reading goals, 87% of surveyed 2016-2017 TutorMate classroom teachers reported that the program was beneficial to their students.

How? Teachers reported that TutorMate increased reading proficiency (77%), improved student confidence (72%), and fostered a greater love of reading in students (63%). In an additional endorsement of the TutorMate approach, 91% of teachers said they wanted the program to return to their classrooms in the next academic year.

Recent Findings

During the 2014-15 school year, two research studies were conducted on the TutorMate System. George Washington University’s Graduate School of Education studied the impact on teaching and learning in the Broward County Public Schools. Separately, two researchers at Epsilon Economics analyzed the results of test score data in a large-scale randomized trial in twelve major school districts across the country. Together this research demonstrates the positive impact of TutorMate both on reading test scores and on teacher practices and effectiveness.

Click here to read the research.