Statement by Anne Ryan, Executive Director, Read to Succeed Buffalo, Regarding Governor's Literacy Initiative
“Read to Succeed Buffalo enthusiastically supports New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal to improve reading proficiency by 3rd Grade with a ‘back-to-basics’ plan to ensure the use of evidence-based literacy instructional practices.
“Read to Succeed Buffalo has been implementing science-based reading strategies and training childcare, Head Start and elementary practitioners in these strategies since 2009 and since 2016, with the support of the AARP Foundation Experience Corps, RTSB has also been training older adult volunteers to tutor and mentor struggling readers, Pre-K – 3rd Grade in 10 Buffalo Schools, with incredible results.
“The Governor’s proposal comes at a critical time as nearly 80 percent of Buffalo’s 3rd Graders are still not reading with proficiency according to 2022 NY State ELA test results. The Governor’s commitment to and investment in providing all teachers access to evidence-based strategies will help take to scale the work RTSB has started. It also will lend tremendous support to fulfilling Buffalo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tonja Williams’ goal of all BPS students reading proficiently by the end of 3rd Grade.
“If a student is not able to read at grade level by 4th Grade, they are four times less likely to graduate from high school. Our experience is that 1:1 high impact tutoring and other evidence-based early literacy interventions by highly trained and supported practitioners, are proven to help close the low-income achievement gap impacting not only Buffalo students but students throughout New York as well.
“Read to Succeed Buffalo applauds the Governor’s initiative and stands ready to support it in any way we can, including expanding on the success of our efforts in implementing evidence-based literacy tutor/mentoring in more Pre-K through 3rd Grade classrooms throughout Erie County.”