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The Bookworm

Today’s news from Everybody Wins! Iowa

When you read with a child, everybody wins!

The First Word

Karen Ligas, executive director

Welcome to 2023! School’s back in session and we happily have our noses buried in books again, but we’re setting them aside for a few hours on Saturday, Jan. 21, to enjoy the family-friendly Kinship in the Neighborhood event at Kinship Brewing Company in Waukee. Grab a friend and come out and enjoy a beer and a bite to eat and chat with EWI staff and board members. Kiddos can check out a book to read or create their own storybook. With every purchase you’ll have an opportunity to donate to Everybody Wins! Iowa, and if you purchase a book from our Amazon wish list, you’ll be entered to win a prize provided by Kinship Brewing. We hope to see you there! See more details below in Picture This.

We’re grateful every day for our marvelous mentors, but they get a little extra love in January, which is National Mentoring Month. During January our mentors and students will participate in a special activity and the mentors will receive a certificate of appreciation signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

And finally, we’re conducting a mid-year survey this month to check in with mentors so they can rate their experience, assess their impact, and let us know what’s working well or if they have any challenges that need to be addressed in Power Read.

Thanks for being a part of EWI and keep reading!

Reading Room

Our carts are stocked with a variety of graphic novels for readers of all ages. Roller Girl, a Newbery Honor Award-winning graphic novel, is a big hit with Power Read student Jordin and her mentor Tracy this year. “I chose the book because it’s about skating and I like that she skates, just like me,” Jordin says. “I like reading because I learn new things, and I was surprised to learn that there’s something called Roller Derby.” 

Director Details

Michael Yung, Special Events Committee co-chair

Michael Yung had been looking for an organization to get involved with when his boss suggested that he take a look at Everybody Wins! Iowa. “I was looking for something that emphasized the importance of education, so that’s really what drew me in,” he says. Michael joined the board in 2020 and serves as co-chair of the Special Events Committee. “As a member of the Board of Directors, I’d like to see us grow and ensure and that we’re meeting the needs in the community,” he says, adding that his work with the Special Events Committee is a fun way to brainstorm new ways to share the story of EWI. Michael is a mentor at Crestview School of Inquiry in Clive, and notes, “When I’m in the school I enjoy seeing the impact the program has, helping the students learn and then show their personalities as the relationship develops.” 

Mentor Moment

Steve Evans, mentor (pictured with his grandkids)

One of the things that Steve Evans loves most about Power Read is when he’s matched with the same student in consecutive years. “That’s the bonus,” he says. “You get in a groove and then they’re anxious to talk, so it’s not all just about reading.” Steve, who mentors at Northwest and Southeast elementary schools in Ankeny, also touts the educational benefits of Power Read. He particularly enjoys reading some of the classic series such as Magic Treehouse and Little House on the Prairie. “I’m impressed with all my students,” he says, but adds, “I think I get more out of this than they do. Two of my favorite things are kids and reading.”  

Picture This

Grab your family and friends and join us at the Kinship in the Neighborhood event from 4:00 to 7:00pm on Saturday, January 21.

Everybody Wins! Iowa has been selected as the 2023 first-quarter partner in this effort by Kinship Brewing Company in Waukee to raise funds and awareness for area non-profits. During our event children can check out a book or create a storybook while adults enjoy a beer and mingle with EWI staff and board members. Each purchase offers an opportunity to donate to our organization, and the donation of a book off our Amazon wish list enters you in a raffle to win Kinship gear. Be sure to stop by Kinship any time between now and March 31 to enjoy a drink or a meal and contribute to EWI. 

Follow us on social media (links at the top and bottom of this email), visit our website, and look for updates in future newsletters for more details on these and future events.

Super Sponsors

The cost of supporting one student is $500. Please click here to sponsor a student today. We are thankful for the support of all our program sponsors.

Our recent December donors are:


West Bancorporation Foundation


United Way of Central Iowa (Power Read monthly grant)

$3,250.00 - Henry Family Foundation

$1,000.00 - Businessolver Foundation (nomination by Amanda Ladd for the company's Solver Santa program)

$259.00 - Tim Billerbeck

$250.00 - Merchants Bonding Company Foundation (Shining Star award, in honor of Kim Phillips)

$150.00 - Robert & Linda Railey

$110.00 - John Deere Financial (matching gifts)

$104.00 - Maureen Heffernan

$100.00 - Mary Stuart

$100.00 - Bill Wyer

$100.00 - Robert Raker

$1,500.00 - Lori & Joel Doyle

$519.00 - Mary Rush

$500.00 - Shelly & John Brown

$385.52 - Beaverdale Books

$250.00 - Mike Kleppe

$250.00 - Brian Baker

$250.00 - Britt & Dr. Barron Bremner Fund

$150.00 - Kendi Powell

$104.12 - Ann Heul

$104.00 - Dawn Martino

$100.00 - Lyn & Bruce Johnston

$100.00 - Del Konopka

$100.00 - Lindsay Dea

Make A Difference

Want to donate? Click here.

Interested in mentoring, joining the board, or serving on a committee? Click here.

Have an idea or suggestion for Power Read, Everybody Wins! Iowa, or The Bookworm? Click here.

By The Book

Everybody Wins! Iowa is a central Iowa non-profit organization whose mission is to increase children’s success in school and life through one-to-one reading and mentoring experiences with caring volunteers.

Our signature program is Power Read, in which students read with the same volunteer mentor every week, usually over lunch. Please view our homepage on our website for current data on mentors, students, and books distributed.

Each semester students have a chance to earn a book to take home by completing the READO activity, and more than half of our 333 students did so in the first semester of this school year. These students from Stowe Elementary School are showing off the books they’re adding to their personal libraries.

Everybody Wins! Iowa


(515) 277-7590 (ext. 8461) | [email protected]

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