Reading Allies: A Positive Future for Alabama
The future of the State of Alabama will be shaped by today's K-12 students. A critical component of the success of these 722,000 students is the ability to read on grade level, particularly by the end of third grade.
Fifty-two percent of Alabama’s third graders are not reading on grade level by the end of their third grade year, leading to years of potential educational, economic, and social hardship. Reading Allies is working collaboratively to ensure the promise of a positive future for all of Alabama’s students through a focus on elementary literacy.
Combining the resources of higher education entities, businesses, corporations, foundations, civic groups, individuals, and school systems, Reading Allies mobilizes a community of volunteers to work one-on-one with striving readers to bring students up to grade level. While COVID-19 has posed challenges to the educational landscape, Reading Allies has adapted to serve students through a virtual platform. Partnering with state agencies, private corporations and non-profits, Reading Allies is in a strong position to adapt and refine programming once again to meet the ever-evolving needs of students, teachers, and school systems through virtual program delivery.
Reading Allies began in Tuscaloosa through a collaborative effort among the University of Alabama Honors College, the Tuscaloosa Rotary Club, and the Tuscaloosa City Schools. UA System Chancellor Finis St. John and Dr. Robert E. Witt, former UA president and chancellor emeritus, serve as co-chairs of Reading Allies.
Reading Allies works in partnership to bring groups of striving readers up to grade level and any contribution, whether it be $5 or $500, will help sustain and expand the program across West Alabama and provide enriching experiences for our Honors College students who participate as interns and volunteer tutors.