District early literacy program asks DC Council for funding

A literacy-focused program for young students in the District is urging the D.C. Council to prioritize funding in an effort to curb learning loss related to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reading Partners is a one-on-one tutoring program that provides students individualized instruction twice a week.

“Our mission is to help children become lifelong readers by empowering communities to provide individualized instruction with measurable results,” said Shukurat Adamoh-Faniyan, executive director of Reading Partners.

She said the pandemic has made the need for funding even more critical.

“Currently we are serving 480 students across 19 Title 1 public schools and particularly those living in neighborhoods most impacted by COVID-19 disparities,” Adamoh-Faniyan said.

She said funding would help Reading Partners mitigate COVID-19 learning loss and support students the program already serves.

“The increased funds would allow us to serve more students and work with more schools to get kids back on track,” Adamoh-Faniyan said.

She said Reading Partners’ goal is getting students on their correct reading levels by third grade, and the program is asking the D.C. Council to invest at least $3 million to support its early literacy programs.

“It would also allow us to plan for innovation and think about ways to get to more students outside of the school house,” Adamoh-Faniyan said.

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