Last night Upsource and SEMpdx teamed up with local literacy nonprofit Reading Results to throw a party celebrating their donors and raise more funds at the Lagunitas Community Room. We had a blast coming together for a good cause and getting to know each other over yummy Sizzle Pie pizza and delicious Lagunitas beer.
The Literacy Problem
Reading Results tutors first through third graders struggling to read apace with their peers in order to ensure they don’t fall behind in their education. Though it may not seem as though having a lower reading ability than others in first or third grade is a major problem, data shows it most certainly is. Children who fail to reach reading proficiency by third grade, and who are low-income, are 13 times less likely to finish high school.
Reading Results actively works to counteract disadvantages low-income and children of color experience in public school. They’ve recruited a team of sharp and compassionate tutors to go into elementary schools in low-income areas and work with 18-22 children over the school year. Their efforts have proven to be highly successful: children, on average, gain 1.6 years of reading skill and 32 words per minute in reading speed after just one year in the program. 100% of students make gains in reading assessments for reading achievement.
Our Shared Community Involvement
Each year SEMpdx chooses a nonprofit to help in their outreach and marketing efforts. Our own Darin Fenn serves on SEMpdx’s board as Charity of Choice chair, and volunteered Upsource’s services to build Reading Results a brand spanking new interactive website aimed at highlighting the organization’s community impact. The goal was simple: increase awareness to bring in more money to tutor children with just as much right to learn as their more affluent classmates.
This celebration recognized donors for their contributions and sought to bring in a few more through an impressive raffle. Prizes included a basketball signed by the entire Portland Trailblazers starters, Trailblazers tickets, a $50 Amazon card, a ticket to the upcoming Engage Conference, and some cool Lagunita’s swag! We even attracted the attention of KGW, who came to see what we were up to and interview Darin about how marketing helps nonprofits expand their reach and further deliver on their missions.