May 2023 Newsletter

Family Literacy Festival

Reading Power treated its students and families to a Family Literacy Festival on May 7th at the picturesque Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago. 

The festival celebrated literacy and imagination, featuring fifteen interactive booths inspired by beloved children's books. From a lively Let's Go Fishing! game, to a delicious Dragons Love Tacos taco bar, students were thrilled to engage in various activities, including meet-and-greets with Froggie and Curious George and a special read-aloud session with not one but two Chicago Bears!

In addition to a memorable afternoon of fun and adventure, each student received a brand-new book tailored to their age and reading level to ignite the spark for summer reading at home.

The Family Literacy Festival was a tremendous success thanks to the generous sponsorship of Rose Pest Control, PNC Bank, Apple, and the Chicago Bears. Thank you to the volunteers from Reading Power, Apple, and Great Lakes Credit Union for their invaluable support and dedication in making this event possible. 

Tutor Appreciation Evening

Last month, Reading Power proudly honored the 2022-2023 volunteer tutors with an appreciation dinner, celebrating their outstanding contributions to our mission of fostering the promise of literacy. Thanks to their hard work, dedication, and boundless energy, over 360 students are now on the path to reading success this academic year. 

The event reflected our deep gratitude towards our tutors, with a lively cocktail hour and a light dinner setting the stage for an evening filled with recognition and appreciation. Tutors who went above and beyond in their service to Reading Power this year were honored with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award. 


Through their generosity and commitment, all our tutors have made a profound difference in the lives of our students, unlocking the power of literacy and setting them on the path toward educational success. We offer our heartfelt gratitude to every tutor and look forward to continued success in the years to come. 

Diving Into Tutor Recruitment

As the 2023-2024 academic year rapidly approaches, Reading Power is excited to announce the launch of our tutor recruitment campaign, with our passionate team of Tutor Ambassadors hitting the streets to spread the word about our mission and our tutoring opportunities. From farmer's markets to festivals, we'll strive to reach as many potential volunteers as possible. We aim to recruit 100 new tutors who bring their enthusiasm, dedication, and love for children and literacy to our programs. 

Would you like to be part of this exciting effort? 

Interested In Becoming a Tutor?
Already a tutor? Help Us Spread the Word

Literacy For All

On May 5th, Reading Power was honored to host British Robinson, the CEO and President of the Barbara Bush Family Literacy Foundation, in our LEARN 6 Reading Power classroom. As a nonprofit organization promoting literacy across the United States, the Barbara Bush Family Literacy Foundation provides books and educational programs for children, young adults, and adults.

During her visit to Chicago, Ms. Robinson met with several local literacy nonprofits, including Reading Power, to support grassroots efforts to improve literacy nationwide. She and the organization strongly believe in the power of literacy, as demonstrated by her reference to former First Lady Barbara Bush's quote, "Literacy is everyone's business. Period." 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, one hundred thirty million adults in the United States have low literacy skills. This means more than half of Americans between the ages of 16 and 74 (54%) read below the equivalent of a sixth grade level. 

While at LEARN 6, Robinson met with Reading Power CEO Lisa Bulzoni, Site Coordinator Marla Guziec, and Assistant Site Coordinator Katie Burdiak to learn about our program and its mission. We are grateful for the opportunity to share our work with such a distinguished guest, and we hope to continue to partner with the Barbara Bush Family Literacy Foundation in the future.

Save The Date

Play for Literacy Golf & Games

Reading Power's third annual Play for Literacy Golf & Games event is scheduled for September 18, 2023, at Knollwood Club, Lake Forest. If you or your organization want to become an event sponsor, please get in touch with Director of Development Debra Pucé.

Our Mission

Working in partnership with underserved schools, 
Reading Power provides one-to-one tutoring during the school day 
for children in prekindergarten through second grade.  

Our mission is to accelerate children's literacy learning, 
and to develop in them a love of reading and writing. 
All children deserve to reach their intellectual potential.

Reading Power Board of Directors

Kathy McFarland, PhD, Chairman

Marra Lochiatto, MBA, Vice Chair

Kathleen Cowie, Secretary

Jim Young, MBA, Treasurer

Joanie Alley, MSEd 

Ann Bates, EdD

John Davidson 

Rob Davis, JD, MBA 

Mary Jane Hender, EdD

Todd Litzsinger

Rahul Malhotra, MBA

Melinda Mooney

Jacalyn Ramdin-Johnson, MBA

Beverly Raudabaugh, MBA

Frank Sibley

Arthur Turner

Mary Weber, MA

Rev. Dr. Gordon Butcher, DMin, Emeritus

Reading Power Program Staff

Lisa Bulzoni, MEd, Chief Executive Officer

Kristin Fine, MEd, Director of Programs

Debra Pucé, MS, Director of Development

Viri Perez, MEd, Associate Director of Programs

Kate Burke, BS, Marketing and Communications Manager

Susan Morris, MBA, Events Manager

Beth Zender, MEd, Volunteer Coordinator

Daniela Cruz, Office Manager

Melayna Pokorny, BA, Office Assistant 

Katie Burdiak, BA, Assistant Site Coordinator

Jennifer Bruns, MST, Site Coordinator

Julie Collishaw, MA, Site Coordinator

Brooke Davis, MEd, Site Coordinator

Julie DiGuiseppe, BS, Assistant Site Coordinator

Andrea Glickman, MAEd, Site Coordinator

Marla Guziec, BS, Site Coordinator

Melissa Kumin, MEd, Site Coordinator

Aimee Lewis, MEd, Site Coordinator

Debbie Loring, MSEd, Site Coordinator

Cathy Plate, MSEd, Assistant Site Coordinator

Heather Rosenblatt, MAT, Site Coordinator

Nancy Shorris, BS, Assistant Site Coordinator

Elizabeth Soling, AA, Assistant Site Coordinator

Summer Zilisch, Assistant Site Coordinator

Victoria Zilisch, BA, Assistant Site Coordinator 

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