Spreading Reading's Power in New Haven

This area nonprofit promotes literacy among youth through after-school and tutoring programs.

Do you remember what it felt like to huddle together on the floor with your friends for storytime? Enchanted by the words and thrilled by the pictures as you anxiously awaited the turning of each page. Listening to a story brings joy to children and adults alike. Yet, when a child realizes they can make their own magic through reading, with their very own book – that is something truly special.

The more than 375 volunteers who support New Haven Reads fully understand the joy and potential that reading provides. They are dedicated to supporting the small New Haven nonprofit as the organization promotes critical literacy skills through tutoring, college preparation, and a community book bank, ultimately touching the lives of over 500 students every week.

"Part of the tremendous impact that New Haven Reads is able to make comes from the support of our parents – in conjunction with their children in our program," explained Executive Director, Kirsten Levinsohn.

A tutor paired with a young boy in the one-on-one after-school tutoring program offered by New Haven Reads on Bristol Street.
Levinsohn shared the story of a seventh-grade student who had been failing in school for four years prior to working with New Haven Reads staff. With the assistance of the girl's grandmother and the tenacity of the organization's staff, the young girl was given the extra educational attention and support she needed to thrive.

The beneficial one-on-one tutoring programs provided by New Haven Reads are extremely popular, with students receiving 698 tutoring hours per week in 2014. However, in that same year, there was also a waiting list of 103 students hoping for assistance. Responding to the need, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven awarded New Haven Reads a 3-year grant of $90,000 to enable more families to receive literacy assistance.

To learn more, or to offer your support for literacy services, please visit New Haven Reads on giveGreater.org®.

Did You Know?

According to the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 14% of adults had "below basic" literacy skills. In addition, 55% of adults with "below basic" prose (reading) skills did not graduate from high school.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics