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 this exciting and groundbreaking 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 small 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 PreK through 3rd grade. Currently RTSB supports volunteers in eight Buffalo Schools.
Today, RTSB literacy programs serve nearly 1,000 economically disadvantaged 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 new Educational Bargain, Buffalo City Schools Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams 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 all children, particularly focusing on those at the most risk of academic failure.
While the landscape in early care and education is constantly evolving, and has been made more challenging due to pandemic child care and school closings, RTSB remains steadfast in its commitment to building a high quality, intentional, and evidence based continuum of highly skilled practitioners that will provide the interactions and environments required to ensure that our caregivers and teachers are prepared to help the children in their care reach their highest potential.
Read to Succeed Buffalo believes that through exposure to high quality, intentional, literacy instruction and literacy-rich environments from birth through 3rd Grade, all children, regardless of economic or social challenges, can achieve success.
Racial Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Statement
RTSB serves low-income communities and schools with majority residents of color. Service providers with high cultural competency and staff and leadership reflective of the communities they serve can be more effective in delivering services and reaching outcomes. Culturally responsive practice is a best practice in education and community-based organizations. Therefore, RTSB’s board, staff and volunteers are committed to working toward cultural competency through a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.