Sound Partners

Program basics

  • Phonics-based tutoring program for students grades K–3 with below-average reading skills
  • Designed to be used by tutors without professional training, consists of scripted lessons in phonics skills
  • Can be provided as in-school or after-school programming, as well as home instruction

Strength of evidence

Evidence level: Strong (second-highest tier)

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Strong (second-highest tier)

Ranked as having the second-highest level of evidence by the U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse


Target population

Elementary school-aged children

Program cost

Approximately $240 for a full set of program materials

Implementation locations

  • Seattle, WA

Dates active

Not available

Outcomes and impact

  • Demonstrated positive impacts on alphabetics, fluency, and comprehension
  • Improved alphabetics by an average of 21 percentile points
  • Improved fluency by an average of 19 percentile points
  • Improved comprehension by 21 percentile points

Keys to successful implementation

  • Schedule a specific time teach day for tutoring appointments.
  • Holding Sound Partners sessions every day helps build stronger relationships between tutors and students, helping achieve better outcomes.
  • Design feedback loops to help tutors, who often have limited professional training, to adhere as closely as possible to the program model.
  • Keep tutor schedules flexible to accommodate student after school activities or other obligations.

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