AARP provides reading tutoring grant to Read to Succeed

May 6, 2016

Some Buffalo Public School students will soon be benefiting from reading tutors.  The AARP Foundation delivered a $200,000 Reading Intervention Grant to Read to Succeed Buffalo.

Books inside Waterfront Elementary library.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Volunteer tutors will serve 950-students in K-through 3rd grade at three Buffalo Public schools under this grant.  Read to Succeed Executive and its partners hosted a news conference with AARP at Waterfront Elementary School Friday afternoon. The program will be implemented at Waterfront, West Hertel Academy and the Lydia Wright School.   

Both the Oishei Foundation and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo are providing an additional $200,000 in matching funds for the tutoring program.

Read to Succeed Buffalo Board Chairman Jack Quinn hosted the news conference. “We are truly grateful for the financial and programmatic support we are receiving not only from AARP Foundation, but also from the John R. Oishei Foundation and the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo,” said Quinn. 

"Reading is a cornerstone of success in life. This grant will benefit everyone. The children, our members and our community," said Bruce Boissonnault, Western New York representative of AARP New York State's Executive Council.

Director Ann Ryan said volunteer tutors can make a big difference in improving a child's reading skills.

"A rigorous study from Washington University, involving 23 urban schools in three cities, found students who work with experienced core tutors, for a single school year, experienced more than 60-percent greater gains in critical literacy skills," said Ryan. “We are incredibly excited and humbled to receive this significant support from AARP Foundation and the Social Innovation Fund."

Buffalo is only one of five cities to win this tutoring program. 

Waterfront Principal David Hill tells WBFO News his school was selected because of 'need' and 'capacity'.

"We are 27-percent ESL students and that percentage of English Language Learners is at the young grade," noted Hill. "This allows for another person to come in and read them, and work with them on fluency and decoding and to really build those basic early literacy skills."