February 2023 Newsletter

Celebrating 100 Days of School

The 100th day of school is an exciting milestone for every elementary classroom. It signifies both the halfway point of the year and an important time for setting new goals and realigning a fresh outlook. Our LEARN 10 Reading Power students recently celebrated the big day by completing a writing project and sharing their plans for when they are 100 years old. 

Tutor Ambassador Program

Last summer, Reading Power launched a new Tutor Ambassador initiative. Eighteen Reading Power volunteer tutors joined together to form a supportive and fun group with a mission to spread awareness about Reading Power and volunteer tutoring opportunities at local parades, farmer's markets, and community events. Since its founding, the team has helped us recruit over 120 new tutors, allowing us to reach over 300 more students working toward their literacy goals this academic year. We couldn't have done it without them! 

Gearing Up To Do Even More In 2023

This year, our Tutor Ambassador team has grown to over 30 members. While the bulk of their focus will happen this spring and summer, helping to recruit for the 2023 academic year, they are currently working on recruitment efforts for the remainder of this year. 

Would you like to learn more about becoming a Reading Power Ambassador and how you can help spread the word about our organization? Email our Volunteer Coordinator, Beth Zender, today!

Spring Tutor Recruitment

Four months are left to make a difference in a student's literacy journey this academic year. We currently have 12 open tutor spots to fill so more students can be added to our program. Can you join us to help one more student reach their potential this year? Sign up today!

Have a friend or family member that might be interested? Please share our newsletter with them to learn more. 

Celebrating Black History Month

Reading Power believes in the power of representation in early literature.

Reading multicultural books:

  • Help children find power and authenticity in their identity when they identify with book characters who look like them.

  • Increase awareness of other cultures' social practices, values, and belief systems.
  • Promote unity and empathy: people learn that not only are differences tolerated, but they are also embraced. 

  • Promote the interaction of children across different ethnic backgrounds. 

Reading Power is proud to feature a few of our favorite Black children's authors this month.

Christian Robinson is a 2016 Caldecott Honoree and received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for his art in Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña (Putnam, 2015). He has authored or illustrated over 25 books, including some of our favorites, You Matter and The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade.

Natasha Anastasia Tarpley is the author of the best-selling picture book I Love My Hair! Princess Tiana and the Royal Ball and other acclaimed titles for children and adults. Her children's books are on the recommended reading lists of school and library systems worldwide.

Derrick Barnes is a best-selling author and a former staff writer for Hallmark greeting cards. Barnes has won Caldecott and Newbery Awards for his children's books, which include CrownI Am Every Good Thing, and King of Kindergarten. He is the only author to have twice won the Kirkus Prize.

In The News

Reading Power was thrilled to be featured in an article on the website of a leading educational institution, National Louis University. Read the feature.

Reading Power Director of Programs Kristin Fine shared in the article, "My studies at NLU and my time as a teacher taught me that early literacy intervention is critical to children's educational success, especially in underserved communities. That's why I started tutoring with Reading Power over nine years ago and have stayed with the organization in various roles, including my current role as Director of Programs. Reading Power's one-to-one high-dosage tutoring program is proven effective for students to reach grade-level expectations in literacy. With the help of partners like NLU, we plan to expand into other schools and communities in 2023, allowing us to reach even more students."

Reading Power Spirit Wear

Last call! Place your Reading Power spirit wear order by TODAY, 2/14, for delivery by the end of the month. Order Here!

Save The Date

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 contact 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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