Read to Succeed Buffalo (RTSB) has always believed that with exposure to high quality, intentional instruction, and literacy rich environments from birth through 3rd Grade, all children, regardless of economic or social challenges, can reach their highest potential.
RTSB's focus on improving quality and intentional literacy instruction in the early grades began when, in 2007, it was awarded a highly-competitive four-year Early Reading First (ERF) grant of $4.1 million from the U.S. Department of Education (one of two awarded in the State of New York and one of 32 awarded nationally). The goal of ERF was to create Centers of Excellence for Four Year Olds.
The ERF investment was a huge success in Buffalo Head Start programs, resulting in measurable improvement in Kindergarten readiness for more than 900 three- and four-year old children in the City of Buffalo. [ERF Final Report]
But RTSB did not stop when the funding from the USDOE stopped in 2011.
RTSB was determined to continue its literacy coaching work and expand the continuum of evidence based supports to younger children through partnerships with licensed child care programs and to older students through partnership with Kindergarten through 3rd Grade teachers.
In 2016 RTSB was one of five communities to receive federal funding to implement Experience Corps smal group volunteer tutoring. An evidence-based practice of the AARP Foundation, Experience Corps uses trained volunteers, age 50 and better, to teach literacy and basic reading skills to underperforming students from Kindergarten to 3rd grade. Currently RTSB supports volunteers in six Buffalo City Schools.
Today, RTSB literacy programs serve over 1,000 children ages six weeks to eight years old. RTSB also promotes positive, brain-building conversations between caregivers and children through its promotion of Vroom - a program of the Bezos Family Foundation.
In the Educational Bargain, Buffalo City Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash states that 90 percent of Buffalo students have some extra-ordinary need. RTSB's mission has been, and will remain, laser focused on building the aligned continuum of high quality, evidence-based, assessment and practice proven to promote literacy, language, and social development in economically disadvantaged children.
While the landscape in early care and education is constantly evolving, RTSB remains steadfast in its commitment to build high quality, intentional, and evidence based literacy strategies that are critical in the effort to help caregivers ensure that the children in their care reach their highest potential.
To mobilize the community to improve student achievement by creating a community wide priority on literacy for children from birth to age eight. 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 learn by the end of 3rd grade.