Sight Word Busters

Auburn, CA   |  www.sightwordbusters.org

Mission

Our mission is to provide support for classroom teachers and students by recruiting, training, and supporting qualified community volunteers in a reading reinforcement program that directly assists students daily in the classroom.

Ruling year info

2016

President

Linda Lobue

Main address

11231 Tahoe St

Auburn, CA 95602 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-1807012

NTEE code info

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Research continues to show that approximately 65 percent of fourth graders in the US read at or below the basic level. We also know, without a doubt, that the first three years of schooling are a critical time to learn the basic skills needed to become proficient readers. Sight Word Busters provides assistance in our primary grades offering students one-on-one practice and reinforcement with some of the most difficult sight words at the respective grade level. Mastering these sight words provides a positive impact on fluency, comprehension and a sense of success for the student. We also help students realize that with repeated practice and determination, all words can be learned.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Kinder and TK SWB Program

Trained volunteers dedicate one hour per week working one on one with students in the classroom. The volunteer helps reinforce letter and sound recognition and high frequency words to mastery.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Trained volunteers dedicate one hour per week working one on one with students in the classroom. The volunteer helps reinforce high frequency words to mastery along with various phonetic patterns.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of children achieving language and literacy proficiency

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

First and Second Grade SWB Program

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Due to the pandemic sending all students home in the spring of 2020 we were unable to collect our end-of-year data which consists of total sight words mastered.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Each school district declares an end-of-year benchmark for the expected number of sight words to be mastered at each grade level. Our primary goal is to help teachers and students meet and exceed the benchmark. Our materials provide an individualized opportunity for students to progress at his or her personal rate of learning. Therefore, advanced students have the opportunity to soar onward with our volunteers while those at the other end of the continuum receive the repeated practice needed to learn these words. A secondary goal of our service is to instill the idea that learning words may be challenging but with consistency, drill, and determination they can be mastered. Our students know their learning is important to our volunteers and that we are going to be loyal to each one's ability to learn.

In order to meet our organization's goals, we recruit volunteers, train them and then place them in the classroom to work one-on-one with each student in the room. Every volunteer attends a three-hour training before joining a classroom team. We work in teams of five - one volunteer in the room each day of the week - so it is critical that a consistent routine is followed. In addition to the basic routine, our volunteers learn two teaching strategies that are used with the students - we call them The Pretest and The Buster Shuffle. Each strategy has specific steps and both strategies were created using 'best practices' in education. Our students learn faster and feel comfortable knowing what to expect when working with the volunteers. Each volunteer commits to working 30 hours during the academic year. We begin our service in September and end in early May. First-year volunteers are required to attend a Refresher Training Session after spending one month in the classroom. During the Refresher Course, the new volunteers practice the routines again to ensure consistency.

In order to meet our goals, we need more and more volunteers. Fortunately, our volunteers love the work so retention is great. However, we continuously receive requests for our service from more classroom teachers. This has led us to create a new branch of our service we call Buster Buddies. We train upperclassman to be the tutors and are now able to meet the demands. With volunteers working with students five days a week, we are able to meet our organization's goals.

In a matter of eight years, we have grown from four volunteers in one classroom at one school to more than 300 volunteers in 100 classrooms and 23 schools. We have honed our training workshop and now have a volunteer handbook. We have revised the individualized student booklets to better align with various reading programs. We have an awesome hands-on Board of Directors that meets monthly and works endlessly to advance our mission. We have created a website filled with resources for our volunteers. We have acquired and customized a database system to help manage our volunteers and which provides amazing academic achievement charts for our school personnel and our donors. We have recently started training Buster Buddies giving older students a genuine sense of purpose, service, and self-worth. Now, what we need next, is to secure funds to improve our infrastructure so that we can continue to meet the ongoing request for our service. We need staff and an office space.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

Sight Word Busters
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Sight Word Busters

Board of directors
as of 03/28/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Steve Young

Bonnie Curtis

Kathleen O'Conner

Steve Young

Anita Arietta

Horti Childs

Cathy Jones

Jim LoBue

Denny Rush

Debbie VanLiew

Joanne Next

Barbara Read

Monique Hall

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/16/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.