12.09.21

Congresswoman Barbara Lee applauds $8 Million Department of Education grant to Oakland-based nonprofit Reading Partners

Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today applauded an $8 million Department of Education grant to Oakland-based Reading Partners, a national nonprofit that helps students in lower-income neighborhoods across the country to excel at reading.

The Education, Innovation, and Research grant will help expand the group’s National Literacy Tutoring Program to support 16,000 students in grades K-4 annually, and will be used to assess how the program is improving the students’ reading skills.

Reading Partners currently serves students in 12 regions across the country, including 500+ students at 14 partner schools in the East Bay cities of Oakland and San Lorenzo.

“I want to express my deepest gratitude to Reading Partners for its support of young students at under-resourced schools across the country, including right here in the East Bay,” Congresswoman Lee said. “Programs like this are doing vital work to close the equity gap in our public schools. For generations, Black, Brown, and lower-income students in our public schools have been denied equitable resources and educational opportunities. Reading Partners is making a difference by giving those students the foundation they need to succeed in school and throughout their lives. Thank you to the Department of Education for supporting this critical program in my district and across the country.”

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, and the Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies, Congresswoman Lee has fought for years for increased funding for the Education, Innovation, and Research Grant. In past years, the grant has significantly expanded educational opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), including computer science. The subcommittee is pushing to increase the budget for the grant by $60 million in the next fiscal year to a total of $254 million.

"Throughout Reading Partners' 22-year history, our vision has been to ensure that elementary school students, particularly those from under-resourced communities, receive equitable access to the quality early literacy education they deserve,” said Adeola Whitney, CEO Reading Partners. “Partnering with schools, families, and community members, we provide weekly individualized support to students to help them develop mastery of the foundational skills needed to read at grade level. Receiving the Education, Innovation, and Research grant is an immense honor, and we are thrilled for the opportunity to innovate our program model, rigorously evaluate our impact, and scale Reading Partners through the use of technology and partnerships. This funding will catalyze our work with students and communities in the East Bay and across the country. Many thanks to the Department of Education for having confidence in our program and to legislators like Congresswoman Barbara Lee for advocating for increased EIR funding that helps enable proven nonprofits like Reading Partners to support as many students as possible.”