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Read Better Be Better

In 2011, 42% of Arizona’s 4th graders scored below basic reading levels on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. According to the American Educational Research Association, a student who can’t read on grade level by 3rd grade is four times less likely to graduate by age 19. In order to meet this societal need, Read Better Be Better (RBBB) was founded to help children improve reading skills and become better learners.

 

RBBB uses trained 8th grade volunteers (Reading Leaders) to implement a simple but highly structured after-school reading comprehension program for 3rd grade students who have been identified as “at risk” according to the Arizona State Literacy Plan. The 90-minute program takes place twice weekly and is facilitated by a trained Site Leader. The 45-minute lessons require no prior planning: each 8th grader works one-on-one with a 3rd grader, modeling and fostering active engagement with a variety of texts. The remaining time is spent on activities designed to improve the cognitive skills associated with reading. These activities, such as board games and memory games, are also facilitated by the 8th grade “Reading Leaders”.

 

RBBB piloted in Phoenix Elementary School District in January 2015. Based on the proven success of the pilot, demand has grown exponentially in the past six months. This school year, Read Better Be Better will serve 1200 children at 20 schools in the Avondale, Tolleson, Osborn and Washington Elementary School Districts.  There is list of schools waiting to implement the program, which RBBB can only responsibly support upon securing significant seed funding.

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