This past year was one in which Read Better Be Better showed a relentless commitment to our mission of connecting young readers and youth leaders to inspire a love of literacy and learning. Against what sometimes seemed like all odds, we were afforded the privilege of waking up every day and knowing that we could continue to do something so powerful and positive, when so much else seemed out of our control.
However, while we were able to maintain a laser focus on our mission, this challenging year served to remind us that Read Better Be Better (RBBB) is not an organization that works in isolation. More than ever, we depended on our communities to help us get the job done.
We needed caregivers:
RBBB parents and caregivers had the chance to be a part of the program in a way in which they had not before—sitting side by side with their children, watching and helping them grow during each week of curriculum. Through weekly check-ins with RBBB Program Coaches, we sought feedback. We learned how to better include families as part of the change as we advance to develop their children’s literacy and leadership skills at school and home during, and after, the pandemic.
We needed our school partners:
Our partnerships with our districts and schools flexed and ultimately fortified as we worked together to stem learning loss and, more importantly, scaffold the rebuild. Our partnerships were certainly stress-tested by this extraordinary year. Candid and effective communication helped us emerge stronger together.
We needed our colleagues:
While working remotely can provide professional flexibility, it can be hard to build community as a team. During the last year, our entrepreneurial staff realized that we truly thrive during the spontaneous interactions that foster creativity and momentum. We rely on each other’s diverse strengths, experiences, and skills to learn, grow, and ultimately drive our work forward with a commitment to Excellence and Kindness. And we are happy to now be safely back together in the office.
We needed our funders and supporters:
Our funders never hesitated to step up and meet this unprecedented time. We felt empowered and supported throughout the year, enabling us to focus our efforts and keep children at the center of our work—wherever they are.
While the pandemic has imperiled one-third of nonprofits providing critical social services in the country, we were able to continue to successfully deliver our program because of the support within our community of caregivers, school partners, funders, and staff. Our collective team is connected like never before and it gives me so much hope for the future.
RBBB Chief Executive Officer