ARISE2Read is a nonprofit organization that partners with churches and businesses in collaboration with Shelby County Schools (SCS) to provide individual reading support to second grade students. The organization recently completed post-testing students for the 2016-2017 school year and the results revealed outstanding progress in the SCS ARISE2Read schools:

A 142% increase in second graders reading on grade level
An average gain per student of 274 sight words.

ARISE2Read recruits and trains volunteers to tutor using a proven method, Team Read, which was developed in cooperation with SCS. This approach teaches foundational words and provides the personalized reading support students need to read at grade level by third grade.

“Research has shown students who read proficiently by the end of third grade have an 89% graduation rate,” noted Donna Gaines, Founder and President of ARISE2Read, at a recent volunteer event where the 2016-17 results were announced. “The mission of ARISE2Read is in direct correlation with Superintendent Hopson’s Destination 2025 goal to have a 90% graduation rate. These results show that we are well on our way.” With the realization of Destination 2025, it is projected that an additional 50,000 individuals will enter the Shelby County workforce with post-secondary degrees.

The mission of ARISE2Read is in direct correlation with Superintendent Hopson’s Destination 2025 goal to have a 90% graduation rate. These results show that we are well on our way.

Donna Gaines

Founder and President, ARISE2Read

This year, ARISE2Read mobilized 822 volunteers who tutored 853 students in 19 SCS schools. In 2017-18, the organization plans to expand its presence to 30 schools. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress released in 2015, only 21 percent of low-income students and 36 percent of students overall are reading proficiently by the end of third grade. As a result, students are still learning to read when they should already be reading to learn. An additional alarming statistic is that 2/3 of the students who cannot read proficiently by the end of fourth grade will end up in jail or on welfare.

ARISE2Read will need an additional 550-600 volunteers to meet their expansion goal for the 2017-2018 year. “The children of our city are our children,” says Gaines. “We cannot stand by and not be involved. We must work together to Save a child. Save a family. Save a city.

Additional information including details on volunteer involvement can be found here.