Buffalo, N.Y., May 12, 2011 -- Read to Succeed Buffalo announced the appointment of Anne S. Ryan as the organization's new Executive Director May 2. The appointment follows the planned retirement of Helene H. Kramer who has served as head of the literacy organization since 2004.
Ryan will lead the non-profit organization whose mission is to improve student achievement in Buffalo by measurably improving literacy and language skills in young children from birth, ensuring that they have the tools needed to present to school ready to learn. She will supervise Read to Succeed's ongoing preschool initiatives including Early Reading First and Project CARE, two programs designed to prepare children for Kindergarten, as well as other initiatives designed to promote a culture of literacy throughout Buffalo.
She will also oversee a broader coalition of nearly 40 organizations that work collaboratively to develop and implement models to improve literacy for everyone in our community. Ryan brings a wealth of experience and expertise to Read To Succeed Buffalo in early childhood education and organizational leadership for non-profits. She most recently served as the Director of Resource and Project Development with Catholic Charities of Buffalo and prior to that, was the Vice President of Community Impact with the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County.
Ryan was also responsible for the early implementation of Success By 6, the United Way's flagship early childhood initiative that worked with childcare and other early childhood professionals to help them deliver the best possible learning experience, serving as their first Executive Director.
Read to Succeed Board Chair City Court Judge Betty Calvo-Torres commented, "Anne brings the perfect combination of leadership experience as well as knowledge of early childhood education systems that we believe will help allow Read to Succeed to create lasting positive change for students in Buffalo. We are thrilled to have her join us as the organization continues to focus the community's attention on the issue of early childhood literacy and the important transition from child care/Head Start to formal public school."
Calvo-Torres continued, "As a judge, I see the consequences of not being able to read well in my courtroom every day. Without literacy skills, students are more likely to drop out of school, leaving them with few marketable skills. Without school or jobs, these children may turn to at-risk behavior that has an impact on all of us - driving up costs to taxpayers and lessening the quality of life in our city."
Read to Succeed Buffalo. Inc. began in 2007 to address Buffalo's staggering literacy deficits - bringing attention to the nearly 61 percent of adults in the City of Buffalo who fall into the basic or below basic mastery of core literacy skills according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL).
Recently, the organization chose to focus its efforts where it can have the most impact - increasing early childhood literacy by preparing children for Kindergarten through improved exposure to literacy-rich environments wherever they are - child care, Head Start or home with a parent or care giver.
Read to Succeed Buffalo is supported by a funding collaborative that includes the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation and The John R. Oishei Foundation. Program funding is provided by the US Department of Education, The Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, and The Josephine Goodyear Foundation.