Phoenix, AZ. – A Phoenix-based 501(c)(3), Read Better Be Better (RBBB), was awarded $7,500 by the Ford Motor Company for the nonprofit’s innovative work in after-school literacy involving youth leaders and third-grade students. The first-time grant will be used to serve students at Desert Thunder Elementary in Avondale Elementary School District.

Arizona has a literacy crisis. According to the Arizona Department of Education’s 2018-2019 AzMERIT test scores, fifty-four percent of Arizona’s third graders read below proficiency. And eighty-five percent of Arizona third graders from low-income families are not reading at grade level (NAEP 2017). Students not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school.

RBBB after-school programs inspire and equip middle school youth through service-learning to assist struggling third graders by helping them build literacy and learning skills. Third and middle grade students work one-on-one, in an after-school setting, following a preset lesson plan for reading comprehension, focus-building, and developing an increased enjoyment of reading.

“Literacy is a stepping stone to academic and life-long success,” said Sophie Etchart, founder and CEO. “If a child can read proficiently by the end of third grade, there is an 89% chance that student will graduate high school, irrespective of poverty.

“We are grateful to the Ford Motor Company for recognizing our efforts to solve our state’s literacy crisis through youth leaders,” said Etchart. “Corporations like Ford Motor Company who invest in literacy can see nothing but gains in their communities.”

Since 1949, the Ford Motor Company (Ford Fund) has worked with nonprofit partners and Ford dealers to provide access to opportunities and resources that helps all people reach their full potential. The Ford Fund supports Ford’s vision of becoming the world’s most trusted company by investing in programs that support education, promote safe driving, enrich community life, and encourage employee volunteering.

For more information about Read Better Be Better, visit www.readbetterbebetter.org.

Written by:
Billie Brown
media@readbetterbebetter.org
(623) 404-6030 ext. 1005

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