Read Better Be Better

Be Excellent, Be Kind

aka RBBB   |   Phoenix, AZ   |  www.readbetterbebetter.org

Mission

Mission: Read Better Be Better connects young readers and youth leaders to inspire a love of literacy and learning. We create change by helping children master reading comprehension in three ways: by improving concentration, by encouraging an active enjoyment of reading, and by developing a deeper understanding of what is being read.

Notes from the nonprofit

As the students know, RBBB's motto is Be Excellent, Be Kind! The immediate, huge success of RBBB, which started as a pilot program at one school in January 2015 and has since grown immensely, is entirely due to the Excellent, Kind members of our community. You support the mission of RBBB through your time, your donations, and your belief in the potential of our children. Thank you!

Ruling year info

2015

Founder & CEO

Sophie Etchart

Main address

715 E Montecito Ave

Phoenix, AZ 85014 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-4003520

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (B01)

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

Read Better Be Better (RBBB) was founded by Sophie Allen-Etchart in 2014 in Phoenix as a response to Arizona’s literacy crisis. The state is ranked 45th in the nation for childhood literacy and 48th for PreK-12th education. Currently, 69% of 3rd graders from low-income families in Arizona do not read at grade level and often are unable to make the necessary transition from “learning to read” to “reading to learn” by 4th grade. Students who do not read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school. But with proper reading intervention, there is an 89% chance that students who can read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade will graduate from high school, irrespective of socio-economic status.

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?

Read Better Be Better

The mission of Read Better Be Better (RBBB) is to help children improve literacy skills and become better learners. We create change by helping children master reading comprehension in three ways: by improving concentration, by encouraging an active enjoyment of reading, and by developing a deeper understanding of what is being read.

Population(s) Served
Students

Where we work

Accreditations

Analysis of Program Data- 3rd Grade Data 2018

Awards

40 Under 40 2017

Phoenix Business Journal

Affiliations & memberships

Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence 2020

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 students enrolled

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Each school site can serve up to 32 students. Numbers are reported by academic year.

Average percentage gain on standarized reading comprehension tests

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Numbers reported are average percentages - as more students enroll in program, the average stays between 15-25 percent improvement. Numbers are reported by academic year.

Number of students report they understand what they read better than they could before programming.

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers are reported by academic year.

Average percentage improvement in reading comprehension, as reported by teachers.

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Numbers reported are average percentages - as more students enroll in program, the average stays between 10-40 percent improvement. Numbers are reported by academic year.

Number of students at or above a 90% attendance rate

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers are reported by academic year.

Number of students who reported they had never volunteered for anything before, and would volunteer again in the future.

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers are reported by academic year.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteer hours are completed by middle school students. Numbers are reported by academic year.

Number of books read by students during programming

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

Children and youth, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Read Better Be Better

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Numbers are reported by academic year.

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.

RBBB measures its success according to six, measurable outputs.

Short-term outputs:
1. Improve school attendance (measured by school attendance data with grade average as control).
2. Increase enjoyment of reading for 3rd graders (measured by pre-/post- self-evaluation: The Reader Self-Perception Scale).

Mid-range outputs:
1. Improve reading comprehension and concentration for 3rd graders (measured by Galileo testing with grade average as control and by 3rd grade teacher pre‑/ post‐evaluation).
2. Increase sense of personal responsibility for 8th graders (measured by 8th grade pre-­/post-self-evaluation on the Social and Personal Responsibility Scale).

Long-term outputs:
1. Develop better learners for 3rd graders (measured by Education Outcome Measures).
2. Prepare college-ready leaders (measured by Metacognitive Awareness of Reading Strategies).

Read Better Be Better is an after-school reading comprehension and leadership program designed to help students become better readers, leaders, and learners. RBBB partners with Arizona school districts and community organizations to provide both in-person and at-home programming.

The organization’s in-person, after-school program serves 2nd – 4th grade Readers who have been identified by their teachers as needing targeted reading intervention. Readers are paired for a semester with middle-high school Leaders who improve their leadership skills while helping their Reader improve their literacy skills. The Leaders are provided with ongoing training in implementing reading strategies, leadership, and coaching skills by RBBB Program Coaches, many of whom are education majors. Together the Program Coaches, Leaders, and Readers work to improve concentration, reading comprehension, and the enjoyment of reading.

The organization’s at-home program, RBBB At Home, is for families with a 2nd–4th grade student and a middle or high student in the home. Students work through the RBBB curriculum in the home, improving two key strategies that support reading comprehension: asking questions and making connections, all while forming meaningful relationships and forging a love for literacy.

Every RBBB session begins with the Leaders and Readers greeted at the door by the Program Coach with a handshake and a snack. The Readers choose a book from an RBBB library of 25 diverse and representative titles. The Leaders read the book aloud first. Next, the Readers read the book aloud with the Leaders modeling how to write observations and thoughts about the book on sticky notes, which they attach to the pages.

The Leaders read the book to the Readers once more to reinforce comprehension, this time with the Readers writing sticky notes with their connections and observations. Throughout, the Leaders pay attention to the Readers’ efforts and reward their Readers’ hard work by promoting them on a progress chart. After 45 minutes of reading, round-up starts during which the Leaders share something their Readers did well during curriculum.

Following this, the Readers choose how to spend the remaining 45 minutes from one of two program components: Be A Better Thinker (puzzles or board games) or Be A Better Reader (extended comprehension activities). These choices have been specifically researched for their ability to focus attention and improve concentration, two cognitive skills that promote engagement and train working memory, both of which drastically improve reading comprehension.

The Read Better Be Better program consists of a proprietary, research-based curriculum designed to help students develop the foundational skills needed to become engaged self-learners. Every detail of the curriculum is backed up by educational research, which ensures that the skills students build and strengthen during RBBB will be engrained in their everyday lives, and continue to help them throughout the rest of their educational career. Those who implement this curriculum can be confident of the impact they are having on the student’s academic achievement.

Numerous studies find that cross-age peer tutoring is beneficial for both the younger and older grade participating students. Some studies also found that participation in these programs boosts views of oneself as a reader and leads to less negative thinking about reading.

In order to meet the community’s needs, RBBB’s program was developed within the framework of the Arizona State Literacy Plan to strategically and uniquely address the critical issue of 3rd-grade literacy in the state of Arizona and complement rather than duplicate the services already available in the community. The Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence has approved all RBBB sites as consistent with the Arizona Quality Standards for Out-of-School Time Programs.

-Participating RBBB students showed 16% more growth on reading comprehension tests over their non-participating classmates.

-89% of 3rd graders self-report that they are getting better at reading than before they were in RBBB.

-82% of 3rd graders agree or strongly agree that they understand what they read better than they could before participating in RBBB, and 80% agree or strongly agree that reading is easier for them than it used to be.

-87% of the middle schoolers self-report they have what it takes to be a good leader after participating in RBBB.

-90% of leaders self-reported that they enjoyed coming to RBBB programming.

-93% of parents reported that their student understands what they read better than they did before participating in RBBB.

-RBBB has distributed over 10,000 Family Literacy Kits to schools, organizations, and individual families, allowing long-term, at-home literacy progress.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

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

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, 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 engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive,

  • 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

Read Better Be Better
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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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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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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.

Read Better Be Better

Board of directors
as of 5/12/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jenny Volpe

Karen Ortiz

Helios Education Foundation. Phoenix, Arizona

Rachel Aja

Cox Communicaion

Gary Linhart

ViaWest Group

Patty Tate

Osborn Elementary School District

Jenny Vlope

Make Way for Books

Sophie Allen-Etchart

Read Better Be Better

Carol Rhodes

N/A

Dr. Betsy Hargrove

Avondale Elementary School District

Dawn Wallace

Flinn Foundation

Artem Tretiakov

Silicon Valley Bank

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? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • 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? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 05/12/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/11/2021

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.