May 2024 Newsletter

Bonding Through Books: Celebrating Reading Power's Mother-Daughter Duos

This May, we celebrate the many mother-daughter duos in our Reading Power family. These dynamic pairs not only share a love for reading but also create lasting memories together while fostering the promise of literacy for their Reading Power students.

Doris Gierlach, who tutors weekly with her mother Linda, shares, “No matter what age you are, opening the world to a young reader is reliving the joy you discovered in books during your childhood. Tutoring with my mother at Reading Power has given us quality time together and an opportunity to share our love of books with wonderful students.”

Mandy Siegel joined Reading Power’s staff last year and quickly inspired her mom, Janet, to get involved. “Mandy’s enthusiasm was contagious, and when she suggested I might want to become a tutor, I quickly agreed. I truly treasure my time tutoring this year and am proud that Mandy is part of Reading Power and that she introduced it to me.”

Volunteer Tutors Alison Graf (daughter-in-law) and Nancy Graf (mother-in-law) 

Volunteer Tutors Linda Gierlach (mother) and Doris Gierlach (daughter)

Volunteer Tutors Marybeth Shearron (mother) and Melody Shearron (daughter)

Reading Power Site Coordinator Mandy Siegel (daughter) and Volunteer Tutor Janet Pomorantz (mother) 

Volunteer Tutor Bonnie Shlensky (mother) and Twain Elementary Principal Dr. Alyssa Shlensky (daughter) 

As principal of Twain Elementary School in Wheeling, Dr. Alyssa Shlensky was instrumental in bringing Reading Power to her district. After witnessing the program’s success firsthand, she recruited her mom, Bonnie, to become a tutor. “I am so proud of all Alyssa does for her students and the community - like bringing Reading Power to Twain!” Bonnie says.

Marybeth and Melody Shearron’s shared passion for early childhood education brought them to Reading Power. “Reading to preschoolers is the highlight of my day,” Marybeth shares. “I always leave Reading Power smiling. It brings back fond memories of reading with my daughters.”

These heartwarming stories highlight the powerful connections forged through Reading Power. We are grateful for all our mother-daughter duos' dedication and commitment to our mission of accelerating children’s literacy learning.

Writer's Workshop

Reading Power's first and second graders engage in Writer's Workshop and Author's Day each spring. Guided by their tutors, they explore poetry and storytelling over a month-long project. In addition to strengthening literacy skills, the project promotes creative thinking, handwriting, and self-esteem. Students often delve into personal topics, forging deeper connections with their tutors. Author's Day celebrates their achievements, as each student proudly shares their hardcover book with classmates and tutors, fostering a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Fun and Games

Learning is an adventure filled with fun and games! Thank you to Learning Resources and Hand 2 Mind for gifting Reading Power amazing new word work activities and literacy games for all our Reading Power classrooms.

Reach for the Stars Recap

Reading Power marked 20 years on April 25, with the Reach for the Stars benefit at Westin Chicago North Shore in Wheeling, IL. It was a remarkable evening of community, celebration, and inspiration! Thanks to your incredible generosity, we raised over $450,000 to further our mission of accelerating children’s literacy learning. 

Thank you to our Sponsors that made the night shine:

Relive the magic of the evening with our "Next Chapter" video:

There's still an opportunity to make a difference! Let's continue writing the next chapter for more Reading Power students.

Donate Today
Become a Tutor 

Save The Date

Reading Power proudly presents its fourth annual Play for Literacy Golf & Games event at Knollwood Club in Lake Forest on September 16. If you are interested in becoming an event sponsor, please contact Grace Drake.

Our Mission

Our mission is to accelerate children’s literacy learning and develop their love for reading and writing 

Our Vision

We envision a world where all children have a strong literacy foundation to support lifelong learning

Reading Power Board of Directors

Kathy McFarland, PhD, Chairman

Kathleen Cowie, Vice Chairman

Jim Young, MBA, Treasurer

Ann Bates, EdD, Secretary

Joanie Alley, MSEd

Rachel Bland, MEd

Rob Davis, JD, MBA

Michael Gold, JD

Mary Jane Hender, EdD

Todd Litzsinger

Rahul Malhotra, MBA

Jonathan McGee, MBA

Melinda Mooney

Pratik Patel, JD

Sara Poticha

Jacalyn Ramdin-Johnson, MBA

Beverly Raudabaugh, MBA

Frank Sibley

Peter Ting, CPA

Arthur Turner

Mary Weber, MA

Rev. Dr. Gordon Butcher, DMin, Emeritus

Reading Power Staff

Lisa Bulzoni, MEd, CEO 

Kristin Fine, MEd, Director of Programs

Viri Perez, MEd, Associate Director of Programs

Jen Barnabee, EdS, Program Specialist and Site Coordinator

Kate Burke, BS, Marketing and Communications Manager

Grace Drake, BA, Development Manager

Beth Zender, MEd, Community Engagement and Volunteer Manager

Daniela Cruz, Office Manager

Annette Anderson, Assistant Site Coordinator

Karen Citow, MA, Assistant Site Coordinator

Julie Collishaw, MA, Site Coordinator

Brooke Davis, MEd, Site Coordinator

Rachael Deutsch, BA, Assistant Site Coordinator

Julie DiGuiseppe, BS, Assistant Site Coordinator

Andrea Glickman, MAEd, Site Coordinator

Marla Guziec, BS, Site Coordinator

Joy Israel, BA. Assistant Site Coordinator

Randi Klawans, MEd, Site Coordinator 

Carole Klein-Alexander, MAT, Assistant Site Coordinator 

Melissa Kumin, MEd, Site Coordinator

Aimee Lewis, MEd, Site Coordinator

Debbie Loring, MSEd, Site Coordinator

Katie Michols, MEd, Site Coordinator

Susie Olefsky, MEd, Site Coordinator 

Kristy Pfeffer, BA, Assistant Site Coordinator 

Cathy Plate, MSEd, Assistant Site Coordinator

Heather Rosenblatt, MAT, Site Coordinator

Emily Sampson, BA, Assistant Site Coordinator 

Mandy Siegel, MEd, Site Coordinator 

Elizabeth Soling, AA, Assistant Site Coordinator

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