Local News Matters weekly newsletter

Start your week with a little inspiration. Sign up for our informative, community-based newsletter, delivered on Mondays with news about the Bay Area.

An Oakland-based nonprofit has received $8 million in federal money to further its efforts to help children read.

Nonprofit Reading Partners received the money from the U.S. Department of Education to strengthen its efforts to help children in lower-income neighborhoods.

The money will help Reading Partners expand its tutoring program and be used to assess the effectiveness of the tutoring.

“Programs like this are doing vital work to close the equity gap in our public schools,” Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said in a statement. “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,” Lee said.

Reading Partners’ tutoring program serves 16,000 students each year in grades K-4. In the East Bay, it has been helping more than 500 students at 14 schools in Oakland and San Lorenzo.

Reading Partners provides weekly support to students individually to help them read at grade level.

“This funding will catalyze our work with students and communities in the East Bay and across the country,” Reading Partners CEO Adeola Whitney said in a statement.

“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 (Education, Innovation and Research) funding that helps enable proven nonprofits like Reading Partners to support as many students as possible,” Whitney said.