Read to Succeed Buffalo (RTSB) has announced it has received three grants totaling $600,000 over three years from Western New York-based philanthropic organizations. The grants were awarded by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Cullen Foundation, and the Health Foundation for Western and Central New York (HFWCNY).

RTSB was awarded a grant of $75,000 a year for three years by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo.  This grant will be used to support the overall mission of RTSB, an organization the Community Foundation helped to establish in 2007.  The Community Foundation’s mission is to connect people, ideas, and resources to improve the lives of Western New Yorkers. They do so by helping individuals, families and organizations make their charitable goals a reality. Over the last year, the Community Foundation has been instrumental in supporting RTSB, and other local organizations, through various grants to assist in navigating the challenges of operating amidst the social and economic hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Cullen Foundation also awarded RTSB with a grant of $75,000 a year for three years for its AARP Foundation Experience Corps program. Cullen Foundation serves the residents of Erie County by providing funding and support that significantly enhances the education of students in grades pre-K through 12 and advances theatre and the performing arts.

Experience Corps is an intergenerational, evidence-based tutoring/mentoring program that harnesses the social capital of retirees by training and deploying them to tutor/mentor 1st-3rd Grade underperforming students. The tutoring session structure is very focused on improving reading fluency and comprehension while at the same time building a strong relationship between the older adult and child through consistency and repetition.

HFWCNY awarded a grant of $50,000 per year over three years to RTSB to expand the Experience Corps Buffalo program into Pre-kindergarten. The vision of HFWCNY is a healthy central and western New York where racial and socioeconomic equity are prioritized so all people can reach their full potential and achieve equitable health outcomes.  The Experience

Corps program meets the Health Foundation’s goals by capitalizing on the connection between literacy development and social emotional skills in the appropriate growth and development of a healthy child and the role that adults play in the ability for children to develop these skills. The HFWCNY is supporting RTSB’s efforts to design an Experience Corps tutoring session structure that is developmentally appropriate for children in PreK and Kindergarten.

“The generosity of these organizations lifts up the work of Read to Succeed Buffalo and allows it to continue its positive impacts on the children and students its serves” said RTSB Executive Director Anne Ryan. “The Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo, the Cullen Foundation, and Health Foundation of Western & Central NY all play a vital role in prioritizing financial support those who need it; clearly making our city and region a better place with their focused investments.”