According to a 2015 study conducted by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), 65 percent of fourth graders in New York's public schools are reading below proficient levels. 

Students who lack proficiency in reading and writing are at high risk for failure in content subjects and are ultimately less likely to pursue post-secondary education. Research has shown that developing reading skills at an early age is crucial for a student's intellectual development and future academic success. 

The percentage of students in New York who perform at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 36 percent in 2015. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2013 (37 percent) and was greater than that in 1998 (29 percent). 

In 2015, students who were eligible for free/reduced-price lunch, an indicator of low family income, had an average score that was 27 points lower than that for students who were not eligible. This performance gap was narrower than that in 1998 (35 points). 


Reading Empowers was formed for the sole purpose of improving literacy in New York City; specifically, our mission is to promote literacy among students in New York City's elementary schools. We host Saturday morning reading clubs, in which trained adult volunteers engage students in reading age-appropriate material and facilitate discussions around the stories' main ideas. Our goal is to instill in young students, at a very early age, an interest in reading, with the hopes that this will develop into a lifelong love and passion. 


After launching in 2012, 1st grade enrollment at the P.S. 1 program tripled the following year (2013). By fall of 2015, enrollment across all grades has grown nearly 250%

We have ongoing relationships (~5 years) with several NYC elementary schools, all of which are Title 1 Targeted Assistance Schools

Now [after enrolling in Reading Empowers], we see that our daughter likes to read a lot and she’s actually reading above her level. We think the social activity that’s integrated into the reading program is making reading more fun for her. We will continue to enroll her in the program and are very happy with it!
— Lisa, Parent PS 1

Reading Empowers is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of New York and recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS.