We are incredibly grateful for our Reading Connections' family. Our tutors, students, staff, Board and supporters help to create a space where we can all be our best.

During this time of year, we wanted to extend our gratitude
and wish you  Happy Holidays and a beautiful New Year!
Annual Holiday Potluck
On  Tuesday, December 12, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm , we will host our Annual Holiday Potluck to celebrate family and culture with our literacy community. Students, tutors and their families are invited to attend. Please bring a dish to share that feeds about 5 people. We will also have popular storyteller, Charlotte Hamlin join us for cozy Yuletide stories.

We will be gathering at the West Market Street United Methodist Church Fellowship Ha ll - 302 West Market Street , on the corner of John Wesley Way and Friendly Avenue in downtown Greensboro.

We hope that you'll be able to join us.
Please call us at  336-279-7264  or email us at  info@readingconnections.org  to let us know if you and your family will be attending.
Thank you for the generosity and support of our H.O.R.S.E.  for Change  sponsors to date!

From the Rafters Sponsor
VF Foundation

Full Court Sponsor
Hayden-Harman Foundation

Half Court Sponsor
Cone Health
Kayser-Roth Corporation

Slam Dunk Sponsor
Cone Health Foundation
Hamilton Lakes Lions Club
Mt. Zion Baptist Church
The Social Impact Foundation

Fan
Greensboro Pediatricians
Jackie and Dan O'Connell
Betsy & Ernie Schiller
Take Your Best Shot for Literacy
Together with our partners, supporters, and fans like you, H.O.R.S.E.  for Change , will make a lasting community impact on the lives of nearly 1,000 adults, families, and children we serve each year. Take your best shot for literacy today! For more information about how to support this event and raise awareness for literacy, please contact Jean Pudlo, Associate Director at jpudlo@readingconnections.org .

  1. Mark your calendars for H.O.R.S.E. for Change "First Friday" promotional event on March 2, 2018.
  2. Save the date for the H.O.R.S.E. for Change Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 10, 2018.
  3. Invest in our collaborative effort by clicking here to make a donation.

To become a sponsor or for more information visit  www.horseforchange.com .
H.O.R.S.E. is a favorite basketball game that brings new attention to Guilford County's urgent need to address adult literacy. By channeling this shared experience, we will join together with communities across Guilford County for a playful competition that highlights the impacts our words (and our ability to communicate) can have each and every day. Please join us for this unique, exciting community event!
Annual Giving - 2 Ways to Shine
If you'd like to support Reading Connections by purchasing an item on our Amazon wish list, please click here .

You can also make a tax deductible donation for our Annual Fund here .
*All Annual Fund gifts must be dated and postmarked by December 31 in order to be credited for the current tax year.

Donations raised through our Annual Fund help to ensure that our hardworking students and families have the resources and opportunities to achieve their goals. 

Thank you for your support!
Last year, Reading Connections strengthened our community by helping nearly 1,000 adults and more than 100 children improve their reading and writing skills. You can make a difference in the lives of our students and families by making a donation today!
Tutor and Student Spotlight: Jonah and Walt
When I met Walt in July, he was hesitant to open up about his struggles with literacy and dyslexia. I recognized that tentative manner as one extremely common in learners who experience long-term difficulty with reading, and I set out to find ways to help him gain confidence and build his skills.

In our first tutoring session, I watched Walt become frustrated with the amount of time he had to spend on each letter in every word. He relied heavily on using context and pictures to guess at words. The very sight of a long word a few sentences ahead was enough to make him freeze up and struggle with words he already knew.

He was resistant to the idea of meeting more than once a week, unconvinced that our time together would be helpful. I promised him that I wouldn't give up if he would agree to give me a month of sessions to show him that I could help him. Things started off slowly, and he wasn't excited about the work. He had difficulty identifying and decoding letters because of his dyslexia. A few weeks in, we introduced overlays into our lessons.

For some students with dyslexia, placing transparent overlays in saturated colors on top of a text can increase the text's readability. Reading Connections provided me with an assortment of these to try. Red and purple didn't help at all. Green and blue seemed to each help Walt a little, so I layered the blue over the green. With this, Walt's reading improved significantly almost immediately, and his attitude towards reading changed completely. The number of words in a text on his reading level that caused him significant problems dropped by over 60%.
That tutoring session made all the difference for Walt. In just a few months' time, he became a confident learner, radiating positive energy and a desire to challenge himself. This transformation has been incredibly inspiring to those of us who have the pleasure of interacting with him. These days, you can find him tackling long words with patience and persistence or practicing his writing skills and reading comprehension.

We now meet twice a week, and it's not uncommon for our sessions to run well past the allotted time quite often because we have a lot of fun working together. Watching Walt grow and learn new skills has been incredibly rewarding for me as his tutor. He is the most eager, persistent learner with whom I've had the joy of working, and he seems like a completely different person, both in the classroom and outside of it. Walt now has the confidence to be independent, no longer relying heavily on the help of others to navigate his life.

Of his experience in Reading Connections, Walt writes, "I was embarrassed by having dyslexia, and I limited myself in a lot of ways. I had one book that was my haven, and I returned to it over and over. I had all this fear in my life because I couldn't read, and I was living my worst-case scenario. I had totally stopped being open with people, and I decided I had to change something. The confidence that Reading Connections gave me has helped me get a better job. In the future, I want to go to college and continue learning and bettering myself."
You'd Make a GREAT Tutor!
If you or a friend would like to become a volunteer tutor or career coach, you can register for our free, three-part training in Greensboro.


Orientation: January 11: 5:30pm-7:30pm
Session 1: January 16: 5:30pm-8:30pm
Session 2: January 18: 5:30pm-8:30pm


If you'd like to r egister, please contact us at  336-230-2223. You can also check out our  calendar  for ongoing events and training dates.
Weekends at the International Montagnard Bible Church
Many of us spend our Saturday mornings relaxing and catching up on sleep. However, the students and tutors at the International Montagnard Bible Church (IMBC) are up and ready to learn. There are three classes held at IMBC, a beginning, intermediate, and advanced level. Historically, the Montagnards are known for helping the American troops during the war. The Montagnard people have been persecuted for their allegiance to the US during the war and for their Christian faith. Therefore, they have been resettling in the United States since 1986.

The three classrooms consist of students who have been in the US for a couple of months and some who have lived in Greensboro for over 20 years. A majority of the students have never had a formal education. The tutors focus on stressing pronunciation, class participation, and repetition. Sometimes students will assist each other by using their native language of Jarai and Rhade to learn and communicate. They often invite some of their friends to join the classes as well. Most of the lessons are strongly focused on subjects that are applicable to their daily lives like
understanding bills and filling out forms.
In the Intermediate level, half of the class time is focused on learning about United States citizenship. During every class session, they review portions of the citizenship exam and some of the students such as Y'Djheng Buonya and Ayaih Ayaih, are even prepared to take the next step to apply and take their citizenship test! 

 We are so grateful for our tutors at IMBC: Marty Halyburton, Debbie Cindric, Margaret Magee, and Charles Coates!
Detention Center Participants See Success
Student Success: Tyler

When Tyler initially came to the program, he was struggling with reading and comprehension. After working with tutors, his reading has improved and he plans to continue his education as he completes his time in prison. He said, "Working with the tutors gave me the confidence I needed to learn to read." Our tutors are excited and delighted that he will continue his education. 
The Detention Center over the last year has experienced greatness! The program operates in 10-week cycles with a focus on skill building in critical thinking, math, reading and writing. Over the course of the year, participants have seen exponential growth, and those who have transitioned to their new homes have pledged to continue to work on their skills by continuing their education. Participants are very diligent and interested in developing excellence. This year, the program served more than 50 men.

Currently, a pilot program for the High Point Detention Center is underway! Like Greensboro, this program is directed towards working with men with a focus on improving literacy and math skills. The participants have asked that our program continue as they enjoy learning and working with their tutors. For more information, please contact Chevella Wilson, Detention Center Coordinator at 336-230-2223.
What would you like us to know as we read your book? “The book is a historically accurate account of life in Europe before and during World War II through my eyes and living it.”
What advice would you give young people today? “You can always achieve your goals if you never give up no matter how difficult it may seem because if you keep striving, you will succeed.”
Why did you want to become a tutor for Reading Connections? “I felt I could share my life experiences with those who want to improve themselves and those who came to this country to achieve freedom.”
High Point Tutor Becomes Author
Richard Rafanovic, a tutor for Reading Connections in High Point has written a book entitled:  My Life: Escape from Communism .
Richard was born in Europe, formerly Czechoslovakia, and came to the U.S. as a young man. His youth was spent in a country that was occupied by Hitler’s military, then the Russians, and finally, the Communist government. His quest for liberty inspired him to find freedom, which led to his crossing the Iron Curtain on foot in the middle of the night. While in Germany, it became possible for him to come to the United States of America to realize his quest for freedom. 

We think you will enjoy this account of his experiences and appreciate his service as a tutor in our community. He graciously has signed and donated a book to each of the High Point Office Coordinators for the English Language Program and the Adult Literacy Program.
2017 TutorFest
We had a wonderful group of tutors join us at TutorFest this year to learn additional strategies to support their students. We had four ESOL and ABE workshops and exchanged learning tools. We always look forward to moments when we can all come together.

If you'd still like to benefit from some of the strategies shared, please contact Rebekah King at 336-230-2223 or email her at rking@readingconnections.org . She is here to support tutors and help with lesson planning, finding materials or classroom strategies. 
Reading Connections, Inc.
122 N. Elm Street, Suite 920
Greensboro, NC 27401
336-230-2223 | www.readingconnections.org info@readingconnections.org
Literacy makes a world of
difference - literacy makes a life!