Read Better Be Better. It’s a motto, but it’s also a mission.
"Our main mission is really to connect young readers with youth leaders, we focus on reading comprehension, we really want all students to have a love of both literacy, but also learning. So when students come here, we want them to find it as a safe place, but also an enjoyable place, somewhere where there's no judgments, and they just get to be here and really just enjoy what they're doing," said Bobbi Burmeister, who works for Read Better Be Better in Liberty ESD.
The organization operates all across the district, pairing middle schoolers with third graders to help the younger students boost their reading skills. But it’s not just a benefit for the younger students.
"We really focus on leader development, and we know sometimes the middle schoolers just don't have the opportunity. When we asked teachers to nominate students to be part of our program, we asked them to look for kiddos who haven't had the opportunity. We really see them flourish in this setting just one on one, getting to mentor a younger student," said Burmeister.
Read Better Be Better all started in 2014 with a goal of reading comprehension, but they quickly realized the increased confidence it brought both readers and tutors alike.
"It's just about the students, I feel you can really tell, especially just seeing their growth. For the third graders, it's not always just their reading, but just like the look on their faces, when they're here, and how excited they are when they come in the door. And then they have that same excitement when they still leave. For the middle schoolers, I think it's just watching them interact with their students and feeling confident enough to give them positive praise," said Burmeister.
And the success stories are everywhere. The program will continue in the spring and adults are needed too as program coaches. If you’re interesting in applying, head to ReadBetterBeBetter.Org.