As we kick off the spring 2017 semester, I have a real sense of anticipation. And who could blame me?! If you saw the video with the 2016 highlights, I’m certain you’d feel the same. (I may be impartial but just watch that video and see if your wires don’t start crackling with electric excitement, or at the very least, your hair doesn’t stand on end!)

As we move into our fourth semester of programming, it still astounds me just how much can be achieved in such a relatively short time by such a relatively small team.

A year ago, we started to realize we had a really powerful tool. We started to see the power of what can be achieved when you inspire and equip an 8th-grader to help solve Arizona’s literacy crisis. And we had some powerful data that supported this hypothesis.

RBBB: A Simple Solution to a Complex Problem

Early in the year, we received the results of an independent evaluation that confirmed we were making strides. It was then that the board sat down and decided we had a responsibility to make this tool available to help more kids. And so we prepared for exponential growth.

We grew every aspect of the organization. Not only did we add schools (we added 8 new schools in September), we added capacity. We grew our network. We grew our voice.

And people started to listen.

Toward the end of last year, Governor Ducey came to see RBBB in action and recognized that we are a very simple solution to a complex problem. He celebrated and endorsed our success, but that was just the beginning. 2017 will harness that celebration and propel our vision.

Advocating for HUGE Change in 2017

So far this year, we have already presented our data to the 3rd-grade literacy committee of the Arizona Department of Education, and it was incredibly well-received. Later this month, our kids will showcase the program to the governing board of the ADE.

Everyone who hears our story wants to learn more and get involved. Imagine what can happen when the most influential people in Arizona’s education system share our vision and are moved to support this work!

2017 is going to be huge, humans. Huge!

As I write this, we have three major funding organizations that want to expand our work across Arizona. As such, we are negotiating timelines with three additional school districts. And that’s just for this semester! We are growing our presence across ASU and GCU to generate a pipeline of Site Leaders so we can execute our program far and wide this year.

Yes, RBBB’s overarching goal is worldwide reading domination — a society in which every child masters the reading skills necessary to be successful. You can say we aim high, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Read Better Be Better is going places in 2017… won’t you join us?

Dr. Dave signing off!