Phoenix, Ariz. – Read Better Be Better (RBBB), a Phoenix nonprofit that helps children improve literacy skills and become better learners, has received a grant totaling $10,000 from Thunderbirds Charities. The funds will be used to support the organization’s programming at Sunnyslope Elementary in the Washington Elementary School District.

RBBB after school programs inspire and equip at-risk eighth graders through service learning and assist struggling third graders by helping them building literacy skills. Third and eighth grade students work one-on-one, in an after-school setting, following a preset lesson plan focused on reading comprehension.

“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,” said Sophie Etchart, founder and CEO. ”In 2017, we served 898 students and the Thunderbirds Charities grant will be vital in helping us achieve our goal of serving 6,800 children by the 2020-21 school year.”

RBBB was founded to address a vast problem: Students not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times less likely to graduate high school; yet 84 percent of Arizona third 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 our 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.”

“RBBB is making a positive impact in improving the literacy skills of the children they are serving in our community,” said Andy Markham, President of Thunderbirds Charities. “We’re happy to assist in their efforts.”

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 allocation of over $122 million of charitable donations The Thunderbirds have awarded to nonprofit organizations in Arizona since being formed in 1986.

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

About Thunderbirds Charities:

THUNDERBIRDS CHARITIES is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 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. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on the Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.