Reading Partners, a national and NYC-based literacy nonprofit, has been named an Official Charity Partner of the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half. The race will take place on Sunday, March 19, 2017.

“Being named an Official Charity Partner of the United Airlines NYC Half is both a unique honor as well as an excellent opportunity to raise funds and awareness for Reading Partners and our proven early literacy program helping nearly 1,000 NYC public elementary students this school year,” said Reading Partners NYC executive director, Maris Goodstein. “We look forward to having a dedicated team of runners take on the United Airlines NYC Half on behalf of our organization—training, preparing, and ultimately completing the 13.1-mile race for a cause that is meaningful to each and every one of them.”

Reading Partners’ runners represent their diverse community of supporters, including volunteer tutors, board members, staff members and corporate partners.

At the 2016 United Airlines NYC Half, nearly $5 million was raised by approximately 2,900 charity runners to help more than 130 organizations support their missions and services. Approximately 140 official charity partners will be part of the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half, including Reading Partners.

Reading Partners is a proven national nonprofit that mobilizes community volunteers in New York to provide individualized reading support to students in under-resourced public elementary schools and equip them with the foundational skills they need to be able to read at grade level by fourth grade. Reading Partners volunteers are matched one-on-one with students in kindergarten through fourth grade who are reading anywhere from a few months to two and a half years below grade level. Volunteers utilize an easy-to-follow, individualized lesson plan each week, specific to their students’ needs in order to meet them at their level and help build both literacy skills and confidence. Tutors typically commit to one hour a week with the same student for the duration of the academic school year.

Across New York City, only 21 percent of fourth graders from low-income families are reading at grade level. Reading is the foundation for all future learning and Reading Partners tutors provide the individualized literacy support and mentorship to help students make the all-important shift from learning to read to reading to learn.

“We welcome Reading Partners NYC as an official charity partner of the 2017 United Airlines NYC Half,” said Michael Rodgers, Vice President Development & Philanthropy for New York Road Runners. “Our charity partners provide thousands of runners an opportunity to add meaning to their miles, and we are inspired by our partners and runners’ dedication to making a difference in the lives of those in need.”

The 2017 United Airlines NYC Half, set for Sunday, March 19, will feature 20,000 runners in the 13.1-mile race. For the third consecutive year, a free youth run in Times Square at the United Airlines NYC Half will feature 1,000 students, many from NYRR’s free youth running programs, in a 1500-meter out-and-back race along Seventh Avenue and through Times Square. The race takes place simultaneously alongside the United Airlines NYC Half route. The 2017 United Airlines NYC Half will be broadcast live locally on WABC-TV, Channel 7 for the sixth consecutive year

The 2016 United Airlines NYC Half had 20,179 finishers from nearly all 50 states and 70 countries.

To learn more about Reading Partners, please email [email protected]org or call (646) 395-3831.