Read to Succeed Buffalo has been selected as a Partner Provider for Buffalo Promise Neighborhood, a collaborative initiative developed by the Westminster Foundation to provide a continuum of solutions to children and families from the cradle through college and career. RTSB's Literacy Coaching Model will be implemented throughout the initiative, specifically in six Bethel Head Start classrooms and two public school Prekindergarten and two Kindergarten classrooms improving school readiness and academic performance for nearly 250 three-, four- and five-year old children.
BPN provides neighborhood resources, streamlines family services, and improves educational supports for families in the community. At the center of BPN's vision are high performing neighborhood schools that support academic achievement, healthy development and neighborhood stability. In 2011, Westminster Foundation's BPN was one of five neighborhoods across the nation to win Federal funding, in the amount of $1.5 million annually for five years, from U.S. Department of Education to support implementation of BPN's vision.
Through BPN, the RTSB Literacy Intervention Specialists will provide professional development and mentoring for BPN's instructional staff to build the skills and assessment supports necessary for teachers to infuse literacy into the classroom. Literacy Intervention Specialists integrate science based reading research instructional strategies and materials that emphasize the five dimensions of emergent literacy development including alphabet knowledge, language development, vocabulary, phonological awareness, and print awareness in child care and preschool programs. Also emphasized are the five predictors of early reading success including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary in Kindergarten through third grade.
Supporting high quality, accountable literacy instructional practices and assessments, consistently throughout the child's early years and communicating and engaging parents in their child's literacy development every step of the way are the goals of RTSB's partnership with Buffalo Promise. When fully implemented, more children will be prepared for school and reading proficiently by the end of third grade.