CEO Sophie Etchart founded Read Better Be Better in 2014, to solve Arizona’s literacy crisis. Students who do not read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times less likely than their peers to graduate high school, yet 72% of Arizona 3rd graders are reading below or at basic proficiency.
Before founding RBBB, Sophie spent two years running an extremely successful literacy program in Peru that targeted a low-income population. These students not only learned to read well, but they learned to love reading and they began to apply improved skills and confidence more broadly in their academic careers. Upon moving to Phoenix to manage a financial literacy program that served 20,000 elementary students annually, Sophie was stunned to discover that many students in Arizona face similar educational challenges as students in Peru, a country with roughly 2% of the US’s GDP; yet, Arizona students lacked access to the type of high-quality literacy programming available in Peru.
Read Better Be Better (RBBB) was developed to meet this need, and with a unique approach. RBBB inspires and equips middle schoolers to solve Arizona’s literacy crisis. The program uses trained 8th graders to lead 3rd graders through a curriculum that empowers both students. 3rd graders gain the literacy skills needed to achieve academic and life-long success, and 8th graders engage in service-learning, which is proven to increase graduation rates, prepare students for success in college, and increase a student’s sense of civic responsibility.
Through literacy, we give these students a chance to pull themselves out of the poverty cycle.
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Teachers say RBBB students show improved comprehension
and an increased willingness to learn.