When social justice champion, Isaac Coleman, and a group of community activists started Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) in 2009, their goal was to close the stark literacy achievement gap between Black and white students in Asheville City Schools. Over ten years later, R2S continues the work of supporting local K-3rd grade students in both Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools in achieving grade-level reading proficiency.
In July 2020, a significant $84,000 3-year grant named for Coleman, who passed away in 2016, was awarded to R2S to power new community partnerships dedicated to equitable opportunities for literacy in Asheville. The award, part of the larger Isaac Coleman Economic Community Investment plan managed by Buncombe County, was one of 5 issued for the fiscal year 2021, totaling $500,000.
“The racial achievement gaps in our local schools are some of the highest in the nation and Read to Succeed is committed to addressing this inequity,” said Ann Flynn, Executive Director of R2S. “We know literacy is a cornerstone of opportunity. We are using this strategic grant to collaborate and partner with equity-driven community organizations to further the work Isaac Coleman and others started over a decade ago.”
One of those partnerships will be with Youthful HAND, an afterschool and academic summer program for PreK-5th graders located at the Hillcrest Community Center and directed by Elinor Earle. In addition to supporting Youthful HAND by supplying digital devices students can use as part of their remote learning, the grant also enables R2S to provide academic programming and literacy support to students and their families in the Hillcrest, Pisgah View, and Deaverview communities.
“The laptops, tutors, literacy materials, and other resources the Isaac Coleman grant provides will go a long way towards equipping students with the tools they need for virtual learning,” said Earle. “And in partnership with Read to Succeed, I know we can bring our young students who are not yet reading at grade-level up to where they need to be to succeed in school.”
Buncombe County Director of Strategic Partnerships, Rachael Nygaard, shared, “The Isaac Coleman Economic Community Investment Grant calls for targeted investments toward eliminating racial disparities and championing equitable opportunity. The review team was impressed with Read to Succeed’s equitable and community-driven approach to increasing literacy, and the Board of Commissioners was pleased to award the grant.”
Read more about Isaac Coleman:
A Lifelong Activist: Isaac Coleman - The Urban News
Visiting Our Past: An Interview with Isaac Coleman - Asheville Citizen-Times
Are you passionate about social justice and closing the achievement gap between Black and white students in Asheville and Buncombe County? R2S is looking for an experienced nonprofit leader to serve as the next Executive Director.
To learn more about the job and how to apply, click here > https://indeedhi.re/33Bl5JF
Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe is dedicated to closing the literacy achievement gap between Black and white students in Asheville City and Buncombe County schools through one-to-one literacy tutoring. We train volunteers in the highly-regarded Orton-Gillingham approach to reading instruction. A flexible, language-based modality of teaching students to read, Orton-Gillingham engages multiple senses–visual, auditory and kinesthetic–to enhance memory storage and retrieval of sounds, syllables, and words.
After training, volunteers are matched with a K-3rd grade student in one of Read to Succeed’s partner schools in the Asheville City and Buncombe County Schools systems. For 1 to 2 hours a week, volunteer reading tutors lead hands-on tutoring sessions with their students in reading, spelling, vocabulary, and writing.
Read to Succeed also organizes literacy programming and events in collaboration with community partners throughout the year.
Full-Time Executive Director (Hiring Summer/Fall of 2020)
The Board of Directors of Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) is seeking a leader to serve as the next Executive Director (ED). The ideal candidate is an experienced nonprofit leader with at least three years of proven successful nonprofit management. The ED will provide leadership to the organization, manage its day-to-day affairs, and is responsible for directing and formulating plans for achieving the organization’s mission and annual goals, including fundraising from diverse sources; budgeting and fiscal management; operations and human resource management; marketing and communications; and strategic planning. The ED will make it a priority to preserve and build upon the collaborative spirit that exists internally with the board and staff, and externally with the broader nonprofit community, government officials, and other key stakeholders. R2S embraces diversity and equal opportunity.
REQUIRED: Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college.
For more details about the position and to apply, visit this link on Indeed: https://indeedhi.re/33Bl5JF
Read to Succeed Asheville/Buncombe (R2S) is a local, independent nonprofit on a mission to help close the