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AARP grant to back Read to Succeed Buffalo program

Read to Succeed Buffalo has been awarded a $200,000 grant from the AARP Foundation, which could increase up to $1.6 million over the next four years.

AARP’s Reading Intervention Grant will help Read to Succeed implement a volunteer tutoring program aimed at improving literacy skills among children enrolled in three Buffalo public schools: West Hertel Academy, Waterfront Elementary and Dr. Lydia T. Wright School of Excellence. The program is targeted at 950 students in kindergarten through third-grade.

Read to Succeed will partner with Experience Corps, an AARP Foundation literacy program that helps struggling students become better readers by matching them with trained volunteers over the age of 50. The grant – which will be used to recruit, train, support and supervise 40 volunteers working in small groups in the three target schools – was funded in collaboration with the Corporation for National and Community Service Social Innovation Fund.

Companion grants from the John R. Oishei Foundation and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo bring the total to $400,000 for the 2016-17 academic year.

Depending on the success of Read to Succeed’s early literacy program, the AARP Foundation will commit an additional $200,000 annually through the 2019-2020 school year. Local matching dollars have been committed already for a potential total investment of up to $1.6 million through 2020.