RALEIGH, N.C. — Last Friday, more than 300 WakeEd Partnership’s (WakeEd) volunteers fanned out across Wake County to 60 elementary schools to read with struggling first grade readers as part of WakeEd’s Partners Read program. With 60 Wake County Public Schools System (WCPSS) elementary schools now part of Partners Read, the program officially surpassed the 57 schools being served pre-COVID.
“We’ve had this goal in mind since we were able to return to in-person volunteering, to meet and exceed the number of schools and students we were serving before Covid,” said Keith Poston, President, WakeEd Partnership. “In March 2020 most of our in-person programming was paused for nearly a year and a half and of course upon returning, our school partners were faced with many challenges as they adjusted to their new normal.” “It took some time build back, but it was worth the wait,” added Poston. “Our volunteers really missed reading with students and it’s great to see all the smiling faces again every Friday morning.”
Partners Read volunteers visit participating schools on Friday mornings up to 20 times during the school year. Not only does the student get to read along with a trained community volunteer, but they also receive a brand-new grade-level appropriate book each time. By the end of the year, they have up to 20 new books for their home libraries.
A study published in the Social Science Research journal found that the mere presence of a home library increases children’s academic success, vocabulary development, attention, and job attainment. This same study examined 160,000 adults in 31 countries and found that the more books that were present in childhood homes, the more proficient they now were as adults in three important areas: literacy, math, and using technology to both communicate and gather and analyze information.
Partners Read is supported by generous donors to WakeEd Partnership including the ChildTrust Foundation, Delta Dental of North Carolina, UNC Rex Healthcare and Wake County Government.
If you’re interested in becoming a Partners Read school or a Partners Read volunteer, contact Programs Manager Sheneika Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About WakeEd Partnership
WakeEd Partnership (WakeEd) is a business-backed nonprofit organization committed to supporting teachers and students in Wake County Public Schools. We’re an independent, nonprofit organization composed of business and community leaders committed to improving public education. Since 1983, the Partnership has advocated for excellent educational opportunities for all students in the Wake County Public School System. For more information, please visit www.wakeed.org.