Reading Pals provides every child who does not read at grade level an opportunity for success through one-on-one reading sessions with a committed volunteer. By providing focused attention in a dedicated space, easy-to-use curriculum and support from volunteers, we equip students with the necessary reading skills which, in turn, builds their self-confidence for future success in the classroom and beyond.
Currently, 58% of the kids enrolled in elementary school in Chico do not read at grade level. This has huge implications for the future of these students as individuals, but also for our greater community as well. Statistically 2/3rds of students who do not read at grade level by the 4th grade end up in jail or on welfare (2015 Bureau of Labor Statistics) and the estimated cost of illiteracy to taxpayers and businesses is estimated to be over $20 billion per year.
Since Reading Pals inception by concerned community members in 2013, we have had 660 kids paired with 524 volunteers, reading together 1-on-1 for over 16,700 hours. Our data demonstrates that in just 4 months of being enrolled in the program and working with our volunteers, students gain more than 1 year of literacy skills giving them the chance to catch up to their grade appropriate reading level and succeed not only in the classroom, but in life. The best news for us is that 89% of students who read at grade level by 3rd grade go on to graduate from high school on time and at the same rate as their peers (National Assessment for Student Progress).