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 54% of Arizona 3rd graders are reading below or at basic proficiency.
CEO Sophie Etchart founded Read Better Be Better in 2014 to solve Arizona’s literacy crisis.
Before founding RBBB, Sophie spent two years running a successful literacy program in Peru that targeted a low-income population. Students not only learned to read well, but they learned to love reading and to apply improved skills and confidence more broadly in their academic careers.
Sophie then moved to Phoenix to manage a financial literacy program that served 20,000 elementary students annually. She 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 6th-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, while middle school youth engage in service-learning. Youth service-learning is proven to increase graduation rates, prepare students for success in college, and increase a student’s sense of civic responsibility. Read Better Be Better is the only after-school literacy program led by one-on-one peer partnerships.
Through literacy, RBBB gives students a chance to pull themselves out of the poverty cycle.
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