Buffalo and Western New York students have had trouble with reading literacy for many years. We've known how difficult it has been for kids for a while, but a recent report released by the Department of Education shows things are worse than many may have thought.

More and more children around the United States are falling behind in their reading ability, and unfortunately, Western New York is one of the communities leading the way.

READ MORE: Is It Cheaper To Buy Or Rent Your Home In Western New York

Kids in the Empire State continue to lag behind the what is considered passing on various standardized tests.

According to data from Literacy Buffalo-Niagara, nearly 30% of our adult population is considered functionally illiterate. The struggles adults have with reading started when they were young and if we don't do something, things are only going to get worse in Western New York.

What Does The Data Say About Reading Ability In Western New York?

In 2023, Investigative Post delved into the available data and determined that close to 75% of kids in Buffalo are reading below grade level.

READ MORE: Recognize A Community Cornerstone In Buffalo

It may be easy to think that the kids struggling are in Buffalo, but these low reading rates don't stop at the city limits. Just as many kids in suburban schools are performing just as badly. Schools in Ken-Ton, Depew, Hamburg, West Seneca, and several other areas have more than 50% of their student body reading below grade level.

It's Not Too Late To Help Improve Reading Rates

School districts that have adopted a phonics-based approach to reading education have seen some promising improvements. Also, more practice and exposure to reading have shown some marked improvements for those who can receive individualized tutoring and additional help reading.

READ MORE: Look Inside The Abandoned Wonder Bread Factory In Western New York

Several local organizations are working to help turn the tide in reading. One of those, Experience Corps Buffalo, is seeking adults to be trained to become professional tutors. Experience Corps, a partnership between the Buffalo Public Schools, Read To Succeed Buffalo, and the AARP Foundation, seeks to pair students who are below grade level with volunteer reading mentors who will work with them one-on-one to help them improve their reading skills.

Click here to sign up to become an Experience Corp tutor with Read To Succeed Buffalo.

Seed Library Buffalo New York

Spring is officially here and even though Mother Nature isn't cooperating, now is the time to start getting ready to plant your flowers and vegetables. 

Gallery Credit: Dave fields

9 Popular Things From The 90's That Are Still In Buffalo

Gallery Credit: Brett Alan

Large Bar and Restaurant For Sale in Buffalo, New York

A large space on a busy street could be yours in the City of Good Neighbors.

Gallery Credit: Gregory Zadrozny of Howard Hanna via LoopNet.com

More From 93.7 WBLK