Buffalo, NY - Read to Succeed Buffalo (RTSB) announced today that the organization has received a $60,000 grant from the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. The grant will assist RTSB in launching an evidence-based volunteer tutoring program, known as AARP Foundation Experience Corps, in three targeted Buffalo Public Schools serving approximately 950 students in K-3rd Grade.

This $60,000 investment by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo leverages an additional $60,000 from AARP Foundation for 2016 program implementation.  RTSB was one of only five communities in the country to receive an AARP Foundation Experience Corps' expansion grant, made possible through a national collaboration with the Corporation for National and Community Service Social Innovation Fund. To be eligible for the grant, the community was required to match the federal funding dollar for dollar from local sources. 

The AARP Foundation Experience Corps grant is a four-year partnership with RTSB and local funding partners like the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Investment in this initiative is expected to total $400,000 for the 2016-2017 school year.  The Experience Corps' goal is to match struggling students with mature, well-trained and supported tutors over the age of 50, who will provide intensive reading supports with small groups of students. The program will recruit, train, support and supervise 40 volunteers in the 2016-17 school year who will be deployed in Waterfront Elementary School BPS#95, Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence BPS#89 and West Hertel Academy BPS#94.

"The Community Foundation is committed to driving significant community change in support of improving educational achievement for students from low-income families and has been convening partners, leveraging resources and making community investments to advance this goal," said Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. "Understanding that literacy and language skills begin long before a child starts kindergarten and are critical to academic success, the Community Foundation, The John R. Oishei Foundation and the Margaret L. Wendt Foundation joined forces more than 10 years ago to form Read to Succeed Buffalo. Since then, the Community Foundation has granted more than $1.1 million to support Read to Succeed to ensure that all children in Buffalo have these important skills."   

"The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo has been an incredible partner from the very start, helping RTSB implement several proven literacy development programs and initiatives in the schools, Head Starts and Child Cares throughout Buffalo," said Anne Ryan, Executive Director of Read to Succeed Buffalo.  "The Foundation's support will allow us to launch this much-anticipated volunteer tutoring program that I am confident will be impactful in driving up critical literacy skill development and reading proficiency among our target students."

The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, a 501(c)(3) organization, was established in 1919 to enhance and encourage long-term philanthropy in the Western New York community. The Community Foundation's mission is: Connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York. For more than 95 years, the Community Foundation has made the most of the generosity of individuals, families, foundations and organizations who entrust charitable assets to the Community Foundation's care.