Reshaping Organizations

Read Better. Be Better.

$450,000 Invested

Reading is the most fundamental academic skill because it provides the foundation for all other learning. Prior to third grade, children are learning to read, but, after third grade, children are reading to learn. Therefore, it is critical that all students are proficient in reading by the end of the third-grade academic year.

Many organizations are focused on helping improve the language and literacy skills of young children. And, significant strides are being made throughout our state. One organization, in particular, has a unique approach to providing additional supports to help children embrace reading and become better learners.

Read Better Be Better is the only nonprofit organization in Arizona that engages youth leaders to help improve reading proficiency.

  • 4XLess Likely Students who do not read proficiently by 3rd grade are four times less likely to graduate high school.
  • 31%Proficient Only 31 percent of economically disadvantaged Arizona 3rd graders are proficient readers.
  • 89%Chance to Graduate If we can help students read at grade level by the end of third grade, there is an 89 percent chance that they will graduate from high school.

How it works

Read Better Be Better trains 6th-8th grade students to implement a highly structured after-school curriculum for third-grade students who are not reading proficiently. They spend 90 minutes together twice per week reading together and developing language and literacy skills. The results are extraordinary. The third-grade participants in the program outperform non-participants by over 22.5 percent on standardized comprehension tests, and 83 percent of them report that they understand what they read better than they did before participating in the program. In addition, the middle school students are gaining greater leadership skills and positive self-esteem from helping the younger children.

They use three main strategies to help students improve on their reading:




Encourage an active
enjoyment of reading


Help develop a deeper
understanding of what
is being read

Helios is proud to partner with Read Better Be Better in helping it expand its programming in the Peoria Unified School District to 10 Title 1 schools in the next three years. Helios funding to support this comprehensive program expansion will build a foundation in Peoria that will support more students and help build a stronger community.

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