Read to Succeed Buffalo's mission is to mobilize
the community to improve student achievement by creating a community-wide
priority on literacy for children from birth to age 8. We focus on creating a
comprehensive, high-quality early learning network that equips and challenges
partners to support children in learning to read, enabling them to read to
Our 2011 Annual Report is now available! Click here to download.
Click here for our 2010 Annual Report
Read to Succeed Buffalo is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing early childhood literacy and third grade reading scores. Research shows that children who don't read well by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers.
RTSB works to prepare children from birth through age eight for Kindergarten and the early grades through improved exposure to developmentally appropriate, literacy-rich environments.
Through its collaborative initiatives, RTSB has developed models that provide children with the tools they need to be successful in school.
Read to Succeed Buffalo is determined to give every child a strong start when entering Kindergarten. More than four in ten children entering Kindergarten in Buffalo Public Schools are behind in literacy skills. With the help of Buffalo's three largest foundations and collaboration with nearly 60 local organizations who share our mission to improve literacy in our community, RTSB works to give children the tools they need to get a successful start in school and in life.
Research shows that children who start behind in school tend to stay behind, leading to poor academic achievement, high drop out rates and often a lifetime of struggle.
A significant number of children who enter Kindergarten in Buffalo Public Schools are one to two years behind in their development of the literacy skills expected for Kindergartners.
Many children have limited oral vocabularies, cannot identify letters of the alphabet or letter sounds, and do not understand the elements of a book including that there is an author, an illustrator, that we read from left to right, that letters make up words, words make up sentences, pictures illustrate the words, etc.
There has been some improvement in Kindergarten preparedness in Buffalo over the last decade with nearly 72 percent of children leaving Kindergarten at or above benchmark according to DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) assessments.
However, after Kindergarten there is a decline in student performance in the early grades with only 49% of third graders performing at benchmark on the same DIBELS assessment. Only 29 percent perform at or above benchmark on the New York State English Language Arts (ELA) tests.
Third grade is also a critical turning point for children since it marks the change from "learning to read" to "reading to learn." Children who are not proficient at reading by third grade tend to fall behind, as reading is an expected skill, necessary to be able to allow the child to begin to grasp content.
According to a 2011 report, Double Jeopardy: How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation, children who don't read well by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school than proficient readers. The research also shows that children who live in poverty and don't read proficiently early on are 13 times more likely not to finish high school than their peers who have never lived in poverty and are proficient readers.
Children are born with the tools they need to succeed and every parent wants the best for their child. Read to Succeed is working to provide the tools children need to improve literacy and language skills and is dedicated to empowering parents to provide the best start for their children.
three largest foundations, the Community
Foundation for Greater Buffalo, John R.
Oishei Foundation and the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation have created a
Funders Collaborative to support RTSB.
The U.S. Department of Education, The United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, Buffalo Rotary Foundation, The Josephine Goodyear Foundation, Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation and M&T Bank have also funded specific initiatives. Contributions from individual supporters also help to fund the work of RTSB.
Read to Succeed Buffalo is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing early childhood literacy and third grade reading scores. Read more.
Parents have the power to give children a strong start in school. Click here for tips to help your child love reading!
It has been well documented in many disciplines that major gaps exist between what is known as effective practices (i.e., theory and science) and what is actually done (i.e., policy and practice).
Particularly in education, we have seen billions of dollars invested in everything from “turnaround models,” to curricula, to testing. Why has nothing worked? Why hasn’t student performance improved? Why haven’t the National Assessment of Education Progress test scores improved – in over 40 years? This report by the National Implementation Research Network, gives an insightful account of how we invest in change and what is actually takes to create and manage lasting positive change.
Click here to read the National Implementation Research Network Report