Thunderbirds Charities Grants $13,000 for Phoenix-Based Nonprofit After-School Literacy Program

Phoenix, AZ  – Read Better Be Better (RBBB), a nonprofit after-school literacy program serving Phoenix-area students, was awarded a $13,000 grant by Thunderbirds Charities to fund Augustus H. Shaw Jr. Montessori School and Whittier Elementary School in the Phoenix Elementary School District.

Established in 2014, Read Better Be Better was created to address the literacy crisis in Arizona. The organization’s after-school program serves third-grade students (Reading Learners), who have been identified by their teachers as needing targeted reading intervention, and pairs them with middle school youth (Reading Leaders), who have been recommended to the program because they’ve become disengaged from school.

“85% of 3rd graders from low-income families in Arizona do not read at grade level,” said Sophie Etchart, Founder and CEO. “Students who do not read proficiently by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school. Our program helps reengage youth while improving reading comprehension and building learning skills for our Reading Learners.”

Reading Leaders are provided with ongoing training and support by RBBB Site Leaders, most of whom are education majors at Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University. Together, Site Leaders, middle schoolers, and third-grade students work to improve reading comprehension, confidence, and the enjoyment of reading.

Thunderbirds Charities is a nonprofit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of fifteen board members from varying professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona.

For more information about Read Better Be Better, visit

Written by:
Billie Brown
(623) 404-6030 ext. 1005