April 2023 Newsletter

Littlest Learners

A morning at Green Bay Early Childhood Center looks like many preschool programs. Children are sharing daily routines through morning rug time, engaging in interactive play over a sensory table, and learning their ABCs. But the school, home to Reading Power's preschool program, offers students the opportunity for much more through our program.

Brooke Davis, Reading Power Site Coordinator, explains, "Twice a week, Reading Power tutors join the Green Bay classrooms and are available to

children during free-choice

time. Once the child is engaged, the tutor reads high-quality, age-appropriate books. Through these one-to-one interactions, the child's oral language skills grow. There are opportunities for rich conversations, listening comprehension skills to develop, and a love of books to emerge. It's magic."

Brooke Davis, Reading Power Site Coordinator reads a book with a Green Bay student.

Green Bay principal Jennifer Sanders agrees. "Reading Power is an integral part of Green Bay Early Childhood Center's literacy priorities to promote concepts of print, develop listening comprehension of text and encourage an overall appreciation for books and reading." Sanders adds, "Children flock to Reading Power volunteers during free choice time to see the latest books and receive one-to-one attention from the dedicated Reading Power volunteers actively engaging in the text with children. Reading Power tutors have become attuned with the children's needs, wants, and interests and select the books accordingly."

Reading Power tutor Daniela Cruz reads to Green Bay bilingual students in Spanish.

This year, Reading Power has expanded to four bilingual classrooms at Green Bay, with Spanish-speaking tutors available to meet the needs of additional children. Bilingual tutor Daniela Cruz shares, "At the preschool level, the students are allowed to choose how to spend their free time, and it is so fulfilling to see how many children choose to sit with me and read. It's fascinating to see their young minds at work while they read and process in two languages." Principal Sanders is a proponent of the program expansion, stating, "Reading Power is evolving to meet the needs of each and every child at Green Bay, supporting the advancement towards kindergarten readiness."

If you or someone you know would like to join our preschool tutor team, please get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator, Beth Zender, today! Preschool tutors commit to a one-hour-a-week time commitment for the academic year.

Writer's Workshop

Each spring, Reading Power first and second grade students participate in an annual tradition: Writer's Workshop. Throughout the month-long project, students work with their tutor to brainstorm, write, and share their poetry and books. In addition to strengthening literacy skills, the project promotes creative thinking, handwriting, and self-esteem. It also allows tutors to deepen their connection with their students. The topics students choose to write about are often those closest to their hearts, families, favorite activities, or budding interests. It offers tutors a window into their students' lives. 

Writer's Workshop culminates in Author's Day, where students share their writing with classmates and tutors. Students are excited to become authors and have a hardback book they wrote as the final output. The project offers a sense of accomplishment for students to feel valued and proud of their work.


It's a match! Reading Power is thrilled to announce two new partnerships with higher education institutions.

These partnerships will expand our volunteer tutor network and give college students valuable field experience as they work towards their education degrees.

· National Louis University will offer the Reading Power tutor experience to their undergraduate and graduate education students.

· College of Lake County will offer their early childhood education students the Reading Power preschool and kindergarten tutor experience.

National Volunteer Month

A heartfelt THANK YOU to our 260 fantastic volunteer tutors. Thank you for all your hard work, dedication, and energy. Because of you, more than 360 students are on their way to reading success this academic year. We cannot foster the promise of literacy without you.

Save The Date

Tutor Appreciation Dinner 

Reading Power will proudly celebrate the 2022-2023 volunteer tutors with an appreciation dinner on April 20, 2023, at the Greenbelt Cultural Center, North Chicago. 

Family Literacy Festival 

Reading Power will host a Family Literacy Festival on May 7, 2023, for all Reading Power students and their families at Greenbelt Cultural Center, North Chicago. 

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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