Partners Read

Placing Volunteers into WCPSS Elementary Schools to Support Literacy

Being able to read on grade-level by the third grade can change a child’s life. Partners Read places volunteers into WCPSS elementary schools to read with developing first and second grade readers and provides books to fill students’ home libraries.

WakeEd works collaboratively with the Wake County Public School System, businesses, and community volunteers to ensure that every student graduates with the tools needed to succeed in a global economy. Perhaps no tool is as important as a strong ability to read. From kindergarten to third grade, students are learning to read. By the time they arrive in fourth grade, students are reading to learn. This means students who are not reading on grade-level at the end of third grade begin to fall behind in all school subjects – not just reading. 

In 2016, 31% of third graders in Wake County Public Schools were not reading at grade-level.

These students are more likely to struggle throughout the rest of their school experiences. They are more likely to drop out, live in poverty, or become negatively involved in the judicial system. WakeEd Partnership is committed to helping children reach this critical milestone.

Volunteers from businesses or community organizations have the unique opportunity to develop one-on-one relationships with Wake County students through Partners Read, as they help them increase confidence and enjoyment in reading. Additionally, students add the books that they have read with their partners to their personal libraries.

During each session, volunteers read a book with their student. The child takes the book home, with the goal that they will be able to read the book independently when their partner returns the following week.

What is Partners Read?


Magic happens on Friday mornings. Before the school and work day begin, Partners Read volunteers read with two “developing readers” for a total of 30 minutes. This time together helps boost students’ confidence and enjoyment in reading.


Weekly, students pick out one book to read with their mentor, and then they take it home! By the end of the school year, they have twenty new books that they are excited to read outside of school. These books are provided by WakeEd Partnership.


This is a unique opportunity. Volunteers read with the same students each week for 10 weeks in the Fall and the Spring, forming special one-on-one relationships that bring joy to both students and volunteers.

During the 2019-2020 school year, more than 300 volunteers read one-on-one with first and second grade students in 55 Wake County Elementary SchoolsIn only 13 weeks, more than 6,500 books were given to students to help fill their home libraries! When school buildings closed in March, the WakeEd team continued Partners Read online, uploading weekly read-aloud videos for all students to enjoy. Check out our virtual Parters Read volunteer celebration!



While school buildings are closed for WCPSS students, WakeEd’s Partners Read program continues online through our virtual read-aloud library. New videos added on Friday mornings at 8! 

Partners Read Impact


of Wake County Public Schools

Have Participated in Partners Read

Wake County Students

Have Participated in Partners Read

Wake County Schools

Have Participated in Partners Read

Partners Read is a nationally recognized program with The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading

Thank You to Our Partners

Partners Read Schools

Get Involved


Volunteers read with students over 10 weeks for approximately 30-45 minutes per week. Volunteers are assigned to a school located near their home, business, or organization. 


It only takes $100 to pair a struggling first-grade student with a volunteer reader and give them 20 books for their personal library. Your donation is at work for an entire school year, as each student becomes more confident and excited about reading. How to Donate

To learn more about Partners Read, contact:
Carol Allen | Program Coordinator
(919) 780-5207 |

Thank You to Our Cornerstone Investors

 WakeEd Partnership

  3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 100

  Raleigh, NC 27609 | (919) 821-7609

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WakeEd Partnership

3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 100

Raleigh, NC 27609 | (919) 821-7609