The Official Newsletter of Read to a Child
Winter 2021
Welcoming 2021 with Virtual Read Aloud Mentoring Sessions
As we enter a new year, we are delighted to announce that all Read to a Child regions have launched virtual Read Aloud Mentoring Program sessions. Volunteer mentors have been reunited with their student mentees and new reading pairs are being established all across the country!

Mentor Sandra Allen (pictured on right) revealed she was "so excited to come back to see Arianna's sweet face and her pure love of reading. This has been a challenging time for all but particularly for our kids. The silver lining is to see the creativity of teachers and students as they strive to keep the connection of education alive and well. Read to a Child allows me to be part of that creativity."
As we continue to share more about our virtual Read Aloud Mentoring Program, please visit our website to learn more about how you or your company can become involved.

Are you hoping to become a volunteer? Please fill out this form to join our waiting list to be matched with a mentee virtually in your region! All returning volunteers please email and we can put you in touch with a corresponding staff member in your region.
Celebrate Black History Month with the
Remote Read Aloud Program
Feminist Activist and Author, Jamia Wilson, Reads from her Book
Young, Gifted and Black
We are pleased to present the newest addition to our Remote Read Aloud Program library. Join Read to a Child and students from Metro Detroit's Center for Success, along with activist and author, Jamia Wilson, as she reads an excerpt from her children's book Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present. Jamia answers timely and culturally relevant questions from the students about race, representation and heritage.

In celebration of Black History Month, Jamia Wilson and her team generously donated the digital copy of Young, Gifted and Black to the Read to a Child virtual library for our mentors to read in program sessions with their mentees all month long. We are incredibly grateful to Jamia for her outstanding commitment to the legacy of Black leaders and heroes and inspiring the next generation to chase their own dreams.
Mentor Spotlight!
Meet The Sweeney Family
In honor of National Mentoring Month, we are highlighting one of our most dedicated volunteer reading mentors, Auldon Sweeney-Wydo, who reads in Metro Detroit along with both her father and her mother.

Auldon revealed that her family became involved through Auldon's mother, Dawn, who "fell in love with the organization and realized she wanted to be a reader and encourage others to be readers as well!" Flash forward a few years and the whole Sweeney family reads together to their reading buddies Kennedy and Jayden at Detroit Leadership Academy. They have since connected countless readers with children in Metro Detroit.
Auldon Sweeney-Wydo and her mother Dawn, with their reading buddy Kennedy in 2019
Larry Sweeney with his mentee, Jayden, at a previous Read to a Child end of year celebration
To the Sweeney Family, reading has always held immense value and has proven to have a profound impact on their lives.

According to Auldon, "It has been a pure joy to volunteer together as a family and share the fun of reading with our Kennedy and Jayden! We have had the best few years getting to know them and see their reading confidence develop. Anyone who knows us can tell you how much we cherish our time with Kennedy and Jayden."

We thank the entire Sweeney family for their commitment to our mission and their years in service to the children of Metro Detroit. We could not do what we do without you!
TOGETHER IS BETTER - An Evening to Remember
On Thursday, November 19th, over 300 households from across the country gathered from the comfort of their homes to join Read to a Child for a night of inspiration by participating in our first national virtual event, Together is Better. Thanks to the incredible generosity from Read to a Child volunteers, board members, partners and supporters - we met our goal by raising $300,000!!! This funding is critical in our transition to a fully virtual Read Aloud Mentoring Program across our five regions. We are honored and humbled by this show of support and the success of our very first national virtual event.
Thank you to Our Incredible Event Sponsors
Save The Date: Help Kids in Need Love to Read 2021
Mark your calendars as we RAMP-up for our 8th Annual March Online Fundraising Campaign: Help Kids in Need Love to Read. This year, our goal is to raise $100,000 during National Reading Month in March to support the continued transition of our Read Aloud Mentoring Program to virtual platforms.

Stay tuned for more details later this month about when and how you can be involved in this year's 'Help Kids in Need Love to Read' Online Campaign by donating, fundraising, or simply by being a literacy advocate and champion for Read to a Child.
A Warm Welcome to our Newest Board Members!
Our Greater Boston Region is thrilled to welcome its newest board member, Cusaj Thomas, Associate at Goodwin Procter LLP. It was through participating in summer reading challenges at the local library in his hometown of Newark, New Jersey that Mr. Thomas realized the importance of reading at an early age. He is committed to helping at-risk youth find the joy in reading and achieve academic success despite their upbringing and circumstances. Mr. Thomas holds a B.A., J.D., and M.B.A. from Boston College and is excited to join the board of Read to a Child Greater Boston.
Our Metro Detroit Region is thrilled to welcome two new board members. Donna Dulaney is a retired educator and district administrator for the City of Pontiac School District with over 30 years of experience, Donna understands the significance of educating young children and has made it a priority in her life to always be involved in some way. She is committed to giving back to the community and the students of Metro Detroit.
Linda Ware Smith joins the board as President & CEO of two LLC's, Linda Speaks and LWS Consulting. Linda served over 35 professional years with General Motors in a number of varied leadership positions. Linda's commitment to the city of Detroit, love of children and passion for reading, coupled with her incredible leadership experience, will serve her well on our Metro Detroit Regional Board. We are proud to welcome our two new board members to the Read to a Child family!
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