Interview Profiles

READ Alliance – Social Giving on Biblio

A profile and interview with Read Alliance, a charity that promotes literacy outreach in New York City and beyond.

This holiday season, please consider utilizing the Round Up For Reading program on Search for the perfect book, and when you are in your shopping cart, click the button to Round Up For Reading, choose the charity you want to share your change with, and complete checkout. You get a book, and you help support global literacy programs!

Read Alliance works to improve the educational trajectory of at-risk kindergarten and first grade students through one-to-one tutoring in basic reading skills. We foster individual literacy by addressing the lack of early language and literacy experiences, enabling our kindergarten and first grade students, regardless of their baseline levels, to master grade level skills in phonics and fluency. Since our founding in 2000, we’ve served more than 10,000 struggling students across all five boroughs of New York City, most from the city’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods, including Bedford Stuyvesant, Harlem and the South Bronx.

Read Alliance is a newer name for this literacy program, which began in 1999 as the Reading Excellence and Discovery (READ) Foundation.  Angela Giacchetti, the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for READ Alliance, gave us the scoop on their awesome program:

Read Alliance’s History and Mission:
After beginning in two schools in the Bronx in 2000, Read Alliance has spread to more than 40 schools in all five boroughs of NYC and beyond, reaching more than 10,000 struggling readers. The mission: to improve the educational trajectory of at-risk kindergarten and first grade students through one-to-one tutoring in foundational reading skills. We believe that together, we can prevent those even in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods from falling behind in reading. That is exactly what we accomplish at Read Alliance, as our students gain more than one year’s growth in basic reading skills at this crucial time in early education.


Are there any stats that our customers should know about your organization?
At-risk kindergarten and first grade students that participate in the Read Alliance Program gain an average of one year’s growth in basic reading.

Angela Giacchetti spoke to one of their very spunky Program Managers, Cynthia Cruz, to answer our questions:

How long have you worked here? What drew you to work with READ Alliance? What’s the best part of working there?

The Read Alliance story is best told through the perspective of one of our staff members, Cynthia Cruz. Cynthia has been with Read Alliance since 2001. She was first introduced to our program while working as a teacher’s aide in the Bronx, where she says she “fell in love from the get-go”. The simplicity of the program, paired with its efficacy, was stunning. Since then, she has moved from supervising an individual program at her school to full-time Program Manager at Read Alliance.

The best part of working for Read Alliance is the same thing that drew Cynthia to the program from the beginning: seeing the look on a child’s face who can read confidently.

During her first summer supervising a Read Alliance program, she describes one of our many success stories. A little boy who was very shy and had a hard time reading was in danger of being left behind. Then, Read Alliance started a program at his school. On the first day, he entered crying, kicking and screaming. By just the second week, he had grown so much that he refused to miss even one day. He could read. He wasn’t nervous. Cynthia describes him as a butterfly that had finally come out of his cocoon. After meeting him and other children with similar stories, “I knew I was hooked”, Cynthia says.

Cynthia’s dedication to giving kids the reading skills they need to succeed in school and in life makes her go the extra mile each day. In fact, it is the reason each of us at Read Alliance do what we do each day.

Biblio is proud to support Read Alliance and other literacy campaigns via our “Round Up For Reading” campaign, with the assistance of Beanstalk Giving!  Buy a book and support global literacy today!

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