Through the Atlassian Foundation, we are committed to advancing humanity through the power of education and software. We look at this in a very global way through our partnership with Room to Read – since 2009, we’ve donated over $3M to support girls’ education in Asia. Increasingly, we’re looking closer to home, too. We’re committed to making a difference in, and deepening our ties with, the communities we call home. Toward this end we’re proud to announce that, in San Francisco, we’re growing our relationship with Reading Partners.

Reading Partners – changing lives, one person at a time

Reading Partners works to ensure students from low-income homes obtain reading skills that empower them to make their own decisions in life. To do this, they recruit and train volunteers to work one-on-one with K-5 students to improve their reading comprehension. No prior experience is necessary to volunteer as Reading Partners provides tutors with effective, step-by-step lesson plans. Volunteers commit to one or two hour-long sessions each week during the school year. This simple yet powerful approach works: last year, participating Bay Area students on average more than doubled their rate of learning. Needless to say, the students get a lot out of the program. But the volunteers benefit, too. During that same period, 98% of volunteers reported satisfaction with their Reading Partners experience.

We’re proud that our small initial pilot grant in 2012 helped contribute to those excellent results. Our new $25,000 grant is intended to help Reading Partners maintain the incredible momentum they’ve established throughout the Bay Area. Our grant also comes with a promise of partnership that goes beyond the cheque. We’re committed to helping Reading Partners achieve its ambitious goal to serve 40 students during the 2014-2015 school year in their newest school, Bessie Carmichael Elementary – which happens to be our next door neighbor. Since new programs typically start smaller, we know this is a stretch. But since we already have a strong base of Atlassian tutors championing the program (10 Atlassians are already Reading Partner tutors) we’re confident we can meet this goal.

Get Involved!

There is still need at both Bessie Carmichael and schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. So if having a front row seat to the transformation of a young life sounds meaningful to you, please reach out to Reading Partners’ Community Engagement Manager Jennifer Mao (jennifer.mao@readingpartners.org), or to me. For a weekly investment of an hour or two, you won’t find a better return on time spent!