February 2021 Newsletter
New Year, New Learnings
2021 is off to a busy and productive start at Reading Power with staff and tutor professional development, our midyear program assessment, and our ongoing 300+ virtual tutoring sessions each week. We continue to fine-tune our virtual programming while also planning with anticipation for the day when we can be together in the classroom again. Now more than ever, we are grateful for this community of tutors, donors, and scholars that make Reading Power happen!
Never Stop Learning - Ongoing Development for Staff and Tutors
At Reading Power, we are committed to a continuous learning model and provide ongoing professional development to our tutors and staff. Last month, we offered refresher training in both technology and program implementation.

With financial support from an anonymous donor, Computer Concepts of Lake Forest has become our virtual tutor tech support partner. They recently ran our tech training session, and we couldn't have been more grateful for their partnership and expertise. Truly a game-changer!
A big thank you to the many tutors who participated in the refresher implementation training to strengthen their tutoring skills and add more to their teaching toolbox. It all advances our efforts to improved student learning!
How’s it Going? - Midyear Assessments
Students completed their midyear growth assessments in January. In kindergarten, we reassess letter names and sounds, and in first and second grades, we reassess reading fluency. Midyear data allow us to make more informed instructional decisions for each student for the remainder of the academic year. There are challenges associated with assessing students via Zoom. Still, the scores combined with qualitative data of high attendance rates, smiling faces, and homework completed confirm that Reading Power students are moving in the right direction. 
 
Class Spotlight: The Fabulous First Grade
Marla Guziec
Marion Schmidt
Site Coordinators, Marla Guziec, BS, and Marion Schmidt, BS, are committed to our first grade scholars’ success, even in this most unprecedented school year of virtual learning.

"Tutoring virtually via Zoom has offered many surprises this year, but many blessings as well," said Marla, LEARN 6 Coordinator. "We are guests in our students' homes and there are many things happening, but our tutors are flexible and patient each day. They manage to find ways to work through whatever might be thrown at them in a session: other siblings' e-learning in the same room, lost wi-fi connections, so many uncontrollable things that the tutors rise above. Ultimately, they just want to be there to connect with their scholars." 

Despite these challenges, our virtual tutoring is working. As Marion shares, "Our scholars are excited to work with their tutors daily. At the beginning of the year, our LEARN 10 first grade students read an average of 6 words per minute. Now the average has increased fourfold to 26."

Our teaching partners agree. "Reading Power is amazing! The scholars love reading one-to-one with their tutors. They have made wonderful growth even with the limits of remote learning!", said Ms. Winters, LEARN 10 first grade teacher. We are extremely proud of the scholar success and connections Marla and Marion have helped foster during virtual tutoring. 
Reading Power Tutors - Making Connections, Leading the Way

Connections allow the Reading Power family to DO MORE together to foster the promise of literacy. The relationships between students and Reading Power tutors help make learning possible. Below are some comments from first grade tutor Bridget H:

RP: Bridget, you’ve been a Reading Power volunteer tutor for over 15 years. What keeps you coming back?
BH: Every year, each student brings a new and different dynamic. For some children, English is a second language. With a little one-to-one help, they soon blossom and are reading at grade level. Other students who struggle to read respond to the one-to-one tutoring we can give them. Occasionally, there are students with behavioral issues, and these children also benefit from our one-to-one sessions.

RP: What’s been the biggest challenge this year?
BH: We all are doing what we can in these difficult times. I know that my students this year really seem to enjoy our sessions - even though our computers freeze, we lose connection, my screen goes green, and on and on. 
 
RP: The technology aspect is undoubtedly tricky. How do you overcome it?
BH: It is a challenge, but when your student says, "Wait a minute," as we are about to sign off for the day, and then says, "I forgot to say thank you!", I know that he and his mother appreciate Reading Power!
Follow Reading Power on social media for more exciting tales from tutoring and meet our team on "Tutor Tuesdays"!
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, CEO
Marra Lochiatto, MBA, Vice Chair
Jim Young, MBA, Treasurer
Ann Bates, EdD
Kathleen Cowie
John Davidson 
Mary Jane Hender, EdD
Todd Litzsinger
Rahul Malhotra, MBA
Melinda Mooney
Beverly Raudabaugh, MBA
Frank Sibley
Arthur Turner
Mary Weber, MA
Tom Wood
Rev. Dr. Gordon Butcher, DMin, Emeritus
Reading Power Program Staff
Lisa Bulzoni, MEd, Director of Programs
Kate Burke, BS, Marketing and Communications Manager
Daniela Cruz, Program Assistant
Nancy Duffy, Resource Development Manager
Joanie Alley, MSEd, Assistant Site Coordinator
Katie Burdiak, BA, Assistant Site Coordinator
Julie Collishaw, MA, Site Coordinator
Kristin Fine, MEd, Site Coordinator
Andrea Glickman, MAEd, Site Coordinator
Marla Guziec, BS, Site Coordinator
Mary Jane Hender, EdD, Site Coordinator
Joy McGreevy, BA, Site Coordinator
Cathy Plate, MSEd, Assistant Site Coordinator
Kay Roller, Site Coordinator
Marion Schmidt, BS, Site Coordinator
Karen Uihlein, Assistant Site Coordinator
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Learn more at READINGPOWERINC.ORG