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 the first issue of The Bookworm, a fresh, new look at Everybody Wins! Iowa! We hope you’ll enjoy these stories of who we are and what we’re doing to increase central Iowa children’s success in school and life through reading and mentoring.

School’s out, and we still have plenty of opportunities to volunteer with us. Please contact Anna Sunstrom at if you’d like to help out with any of our following current needs:
  • We still need a couple of volunteers in our booth at the Des Moines Arts Festival on Friday, June 24. Click here if you’d like to join us in the Creative Family Zone.
  • If you’re looking for a less formal, drop-in opportunity, you can stop in at McKinley and Lovejoy schools in Des Moines to read with students during their summer programs, where we’ll also distribute books. 
  • Everybody Wins! Iowa will again distribute books at meal sites throughout the metro this summer. Please sign up to help local children stock their home libraries.

Looking for a paid opportunity? If you’d like to do a little more than mentor, we’re looking for site coordinators to oversee Power Read at five schools this fall. If you’re interested, contact Stacy Pearce at

Finally, our Board of Directors is gearing up to revamp our strategic plan. Thanks to the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, we received a Capacity Building grant for strategic planning, and we’ll be working with Cassandra Halls with 2 the Top Consulting to update the plan.
Director Details
Jannay Towne, Board of Directors
Jannay Towne was a mentor for years before she joined the Everybody Wins! Iowa Board of Directors. A co-chair of the Marketing Committee, she notes her role as a board member means she can help even more people learn about Power Read. The greatest satisfaction, she says, is when a student is excited about choosing and reading books or when she encounters a student’s family member outside the program and hears her mentoring made a difference. “Mentoring is a priority for me, and I plan my life around Thursdays,” she says. “It’s just about showing up every week and being there for your child. They really pick up on the commitment and enjoy the one-on-one attention.”
Staff Scene
Stacy Pearce, program manager
Though she’s one of the adults, Stacy Pearce says she’s the one learning from children in the schools she oversees. “They’re so observant and smart,” she says. “Our students may not all be reading at grade level, but it still amazes me, the things they know, and I really think it’s important for adults to know that.” Stacy got involved with Everybody Wins! Iowa as a mentor at Crestview School of Inquiry and then worked as a site coordinator at three schools before becoming a program manager. “I’m so lucky I get paid to do this,” she says.
Picture This
We’re getting excited for Everybody Wins! Iowa’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on August 31 at the Tom and Ruth Harkin Center. Mark your calendar now and get your tickets here for this special event.
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.

Attending the Des Moines Arts Festival June 24-26? Look for our tent in the Creative Family Zone. We’ll have a children’s trivia game, bookmarks to color, and a create-your-own-story activity for the littlest festival goers.
Super Sponsors
Each year, Everybody Wins! Iowa serves hundreds of central Iowa students in need of a reading mentor at the cost of $500 per student. For a monthly donation of $41.67, you can ensure a child will get the help they need to become successful in school and in life. Please click here to sponsor a student today.

Many thanks to our recent donors:
Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines (Capacity Building grant)
United Way of Central Iowa (Power Read monthly grant)
$368.75 - BrownWinick Law Firm
$258.74 - Melissa Reams
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. We just wrapped up the 2021-2022 school year, during which we served 305 students with 300 mentors and 17 staff and provided 5,065 books to our students.