Member Orientation

Welcome to the Movement.

Regardless of your chosen role and the level of participation, new members are encouraged to review the materials presented below.

The purpose is to prepare members so they can optimize their efforts to help the Movement achieve its vision.

Desired Learning Outcomes:

Point 1: What is the need?

Point 2: Why does the need exist?

Point 3: Why does the current system allow so many children to fail?

point 4: What causes a student to struggle to learn?

Point 5: What can a family do to help their children succeed?

What is the Solution?

Point 5a: Why is the Movement Solution better than the current approach?

Point 6: What is the Movement?

Why does it exist?

Point 7: What is Movement Spirt vs. just another Program?

Point 8: How can I help?

Where can I plug in?

What are next steps?

Point 1: What is the need?

The bottom line is well-being; at least meeting basic needs moving towards each personal goal.

Black Youth face many inequities starting with education and discipline within the education system. If a student struggles in school, that impacts being able to meet future well-being goals. More information on inequities

Based upon the data from the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress, only 16% of Black 4th grade students scored proficient in reading. This compares to 41% for White students, almost a 3 to 1 inequity.

Studies suggest that about 2/3 of students who are not proficient in reading by 4th grade end up incarcerated or on public assistance. Therefore, if we are to change many of the inequities face by the Black Community, it would be wise to ensure that all Black Youth achieve reading proficiency.

References on statistics and outcomes can be found under the Reading Statistics page on this website.

Point 2: Why does the need exist?

Most students who struggle with reading entered kindergarten behind in foundational skills that empower reading success. We call this the Skill Gap. More details on the Skill Gap model can be found under the Family Orientation page.

Most schools focus on teaching a narrow range of reading skills. If a student has an adequate foundational skill set, this approach works in most cases.

However, if a student has a Skill Gap, most schools do not evaluate the full skill range, the Skill Scan, and thereby do not strengthen all the skills that empower reading success. Most students who enter school with a Skill Gap never catch up in the current educational system.

This failure to address the Skill Gap broadly within the education system leads to high failure rates for students?

Why are Black Students failing at a much higher rate than White students? It is also important to note that 59% of White students are failing in the system also, so the majority of students face a reading success crisis.

On average, Black students face greater stresses in their family situation during a critical development period ages 0 to 5. Stress and lower access to resources impede skill development. More Black students enter school with a Skill Gap.

68% of Black children grow up in a single-parent home vs. 24% for White students. Black students are 13 times more likely to be suspended from school than White students for the same offense. Black Americans are 5 times more likely to be incarcerated than White Americans for similar offenses. Home ownership rate for Black Americans is 44% compared to 73% for White Americans. White families on average have a six to one wealth advantage over Black families.

The inequities we hope to address through education are causing the failure rate in education. We must break that cycle.

Point 3: Why does the current system allow so many children to fail?

We see in the information above the technical reason why so many children are failing--the Skill Gap.

The next, perhaps more important question is why does the system continue to allow this failure? Why is the system not addressing the Skill Gap?

The foundational Skill Gap develops during age 0-5, a period the education system typically does not address. More and more, schools are moving into this age range with pre-kindergarten. But that is insufficient. Families play a critical role and will always continue in this role.

More and more schools are broadening the range of skills they address, but it is still insufficient in most cases without strong family engagement.

Point 4: What causes a student to struggle to learn?

As noted above in Point 2 on why the need exists, most students who struggle have a Skill Gap.

There are multiple skill categories and multiple skills or factors in each category. A deficiency or issue with any skill or factor may be causing a student to struggle with learning.

Point 5: What is the solution?

Provide students with the proper life experiences and training that build a strong foundational skill set.

If there are any gaps, identify the gaps, provide the proper training and close the Skill Gap.

Point 5a: Why is the Movement Solution better than the current approach?

We address the full range of skills holistically.

We empower and support families so they are able to take ownership of the solution.

More of the same is not working.

The solution must identify and close the Skill Gaps.

Point 6: What is the Movement? Why does it exist?

Once we developed the solution, we tried to work with schools. We had some success.

However, it became clear that the education system is an impenetrable bureaucracy that is distributed. With limited resources, it is impossible to change the system in any reasonable time frame.

In the interim, too many children would continue to fail.

With social media today, it is possible to engage a broad audience quickly and cause change.

The Movement was created to take advantage of this paradigm to empower families to take ownership of their children's success.

Point 7: What is Movement Spirt vs. just another Program?

There are hundreds of programs that have tried to solve the reading crisis. All have failed.

Teachers and students have be inundated with the next great program. The last one did not work, try this one. It has seemed like we have been throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what might stick. As the statistics prove, that is not working.

No program alone can solve the crisis. Not even the programs we use.

It takes a holistic approach. Only a Movement can create the paradigm of change and support needed.

Point 8: How can I help? Where do I plug in? What are next steps?

No matter your situation, there is probably something you could do to help. Just joining the Movement and lending your voice to the cause is an impactful step.

There are four basic steps, ESSP.

Endorse (Join)

Spread the word

Support the Movement



Join the Movement.

It is easy to do.

There is no cost.

Post an endorsement statement or short video on our social media.

Spread the Word

Post on your social media.

Tell everyone you know to join.

Help us find people with large social media networks to help spread the word to their followers.


Doing the work of the Movement costs money.

We need your support. Your donation of any amount helps support a child.

We also need help to write grants and build relationships.


Volunteer at the national or local level.

A few hours a week can make a difference.

Support your local families.

Participate as a family.

Help your children complete the training.

Next steps:

Join the Movement

Select a role

Complete the orientation for each role selected

Help build the Movement

The Black Youth Success Movement operates under Success4rkids, a 501c3 nonprofit based in Akron, Ohio. Although we focus on uplifting Black Youth, all youth are welcome. Imagine if all Black Youth achieved their full potential, created educational equity and led the nation in solving the reading crisis for all students.

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