By 3rd grade, more than half of DC students have already fallen behind in reading. This shortfall has serious, long-term implications because ability in reading is the strongest predictor of high school completion, college success, and stable employment. So Reach Incorporated takes a novel approach. It recruits as tutors teens who have experienced significant academic failure themselves. Seasoned teachers guide them in preparing lesson plans with a focus on decoding and comprehension skills, and Reach Inc entrusts them with the responsibility of tutoring elementary school students in need. The tutors gain 140 hours of teaching (and learning) experience a year – and, significantly, 97% stay in school. Their young charges receive more than 70 extra hours of reading instruction. The results? Both groups experience significant growth: 2.5 years for the tutors, and 1.5 for their tutees. Tutors are also compensated for their work, enabling them to develop job skills along with educational aptitude. For the teens who learn by teaching, and for the children who benefit, it's a win-win – and one that you can support.

Headquarters: DC-Ward 6

Where They Operate: DC-Ward 5; DC-Ward 6; DC-Ward 8

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17)

Population(s) Served: Students

Schools They Work In: High Schools:; Anacostia Senior High School (Anacostia); Ballou Senior High School (Congress Heights); Dunbar Senior High School (Shaw); Eastern Senior High School (Hill East); EL Haynes Public Charter School (Petworth); HD Woodson (Capitol Heights); Thurgood Marshall Academy PCS (Anacostia); Elementary Schools:; Drew Elementary School (Capitol Heights); EL Haynes Public Charter School (Petworth); Ketcham Elementary School (Anacostia); King Elementary School (Congress Heights); Orr Elementary School (Anacostia); Payne Elementary School (Hill East); Savoy Elementary School (Anacostia); Simon Elementary School (Congress Heights); Walker Jones Education Campus (Shaw); In addition to our school-based sites, we operate a site serving both teen tutors and elementary school students at Beacon House, a community center in Edgewood Terrace (Ward 5).

  • Hours of tutoring, mentoring, or class-time you provide annually:  
    Reach provides 140 hours of additional support to high school tutors and 70 additional hours of support to their elementary school students.
  • Reading Growth:  
    Elementary school students experience 1.5 grade levels of reading growth, while their teen tutors average more than 2 grade levels of growth.
  • Graduation Rate:  
    Though roughly 50% of minority youth graduate from high school in the District of Columbia, 90% of tutors have graduated on time.
  • Grade Level Reading:  
    Our average tutors enters the program in 9th grade reading at a 5th grade level. By 11th grade, 75% of our tutors read at or above grade level.

Awards & Recognition

2011, Echoing Green Fellow
2011, Fair Chance Partner
2013, Lehrman Impact Award Winner
2015, National Book Foundation Innovation in Reading Prize


Budget (FY2012)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Reach Incorporated is: Less than $500k

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