Read to Succeed Buffalo (RTSB) announced today that the organization has been awarded grants totaling $109,600 from The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation and the James H. Cummings Foundation.

Both these capacity-building grants will benefit RTSB in its implementation of the organization’s strategic plan; specifically, its number one priority area of Improving student achievement by establishing an effective continuum of evidence-based, developmentally appropriate literacy and child development practices for Buffalo’s children from birth through age eight. 

The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation awarded $100,000 to RTSB to support program expansion and the James H. Cummings Foundation awarded a $9,600 grant to RTSB for the purchase of equipment and advanced technology that will be utilized to support the expansion of literacy coaching services in child care, Head Start and the Buffalo City Schools.

“Read to Succeed Buffalo believes that through exposure to high quality, intentional literacy instruction and language-rich environments from birth through 3rd Grade, all children, regardless of economic or social challenges, can achieve success,” said Anne Ryan, Executive Director. “RTSB programs have proven outcomes, and we are grateful to The Margaret L. Wendt Foundation and the James H. Cummings Foundation for their faith in RTSB’s ability to increase childhood literacy and 3rd-grade reading scores in Buffalo.”

RTSB’s continuum of evidence-based literacy support starts with an early literacy intervention specialist providing embedded professional development support to licensed child care providers serving infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in Buffalo neighborhoods. Its next level of support provides an early literacy intervention specialist to Head Start teachers serving three- and four-year-olds in Buffalo’s East Ferry neighborhood.  RTSB’s largest program is Experience Corps Buffalo. Experience Corps is an intergenerational, evidence-based tutoring/mentoring program of the AARP Foundation that harnesses the social capital of older adults (retirees 50+) by training and deploying them as tutor/mentors for students PreK - 3rd-grade who are below grade level in reading. The RTSB literacy coaching model supports nearly 100 volunteer tutor/mentors across 10 Buffalo schools.

In the 2023-24 school year, these programs are serving nearly 500 children from birth to age eight.