Phoenix, AZ – Read Better Be Better, a Phoenix nonprofit that helps children improve literacy skills and become better learners, has received a grant totaling $156,646 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. The funds will be used to expand the organization’s programming to three schools in Washington Elementary School District.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust was established upon the death of Nina Mason Pulliam in 1997 to support the causes she loved in her home states of Arizona and Indiana. The Trust seeks to help people in need, protect animals and nature, and enrich community life in metropolitan Indianapolis and Phoenix.

“RBBB after school programs inspire and equip at-risk 8th graders through service learning to work with struggling 3rd graders to build literacy skills,” said Sophie Etchart, founder and CEO. Third and eighth grade students work one-on-one, in an after-school setting, following a preset lesson plan focused on reading comprehension. “This school year, RBBB served 634 students and the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust grant will be vital in helping us achieve our goal of 6,800 children in the 2020-21 school year,”

“During her career, Nina Mason Pulliam shared her financial success and business leadership skills with many charities. She had a keen awareness of challenges that face our community and would take great pride in the outstanding work being done by organizations like Read Better Be Better,” said Trustee Chair Carol Schilling. “Through her Trust, we continue to build on her legacy, which clearly reflects her heart for philanthropy.”

“Read Better Be Better is built on the belief that all children deserve the chance to succeed and the knowledge that literacy is a stepping stone to academic and life-long success,” Etchart said.

Read Better Be Better was founded to address a vast problem: Students not reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade are four times less likely to graduate high school; yet 84 percent of Arizona 3rd graders from low-income families are not reading on grade level.

“By helping students in our program recognize their own potential and the potential of others, we empower them to be part of the solution,” Etchart said. “Older students are committing RBBB’s curriculum to memory and implementing it at home with their younger siblings; younger students are now speaking up in the classroom to convince their peers of the importance of reading.

“That is how we effect lasting, societal change.”

In 2016, Valley of The Sun United Way funded an independent evaluation of RBBB’s data to verify its impact. The report found that “RBBB has noticeable effects on participants’ reading skills.”

The grant to Read Better Be Better represents one of 22 awarded to nonprofit organizations in Arizona by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust during the first of two grant cycles this year. Since the Trust began its grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $283 million to 954 nonprofit organizations in its home states of Arizona and Indiana.

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

For more information about the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and its programs visit www.ninapulliamtrust.org.

Read Better Be Better Contact:
Sophie Etchart
Founder and CEO
sophie@readbetterbebetter.org
(623) 229-7880

Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Contact:
Teri Walker
Manager of Communications and External Relations
twalker@nmpct.org
(480) 887-0083

 

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

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