Our April Mentor of the Month honor goes to Jennifer Stuber. Jennifer currently reads at St. Theresa Catholic School and has been reading with Everybody Wins! Iowa for eight years.
Jennifer reads with Mary, a third grader, each week on Tuesdays. This school year was the start of their first year of reading together.
Mary and Jennifer enjoy reading a variety of books together, but Mary’s favorite kind of books to read are about animals.
“I think (being a mentor) means to establish a rapport with a child and be able to communicate with them and have the one-on-one conversation, as well as read to them and find out what they’re interested in,” Jennifer said.
Jennifer retired 3 years ago, but was involved with the program years before she retired. She previously read at Windsor Elementary before reading at St. Theresa Catholic.
“I’ve read with a lot of different children, mostly third and fourth and fifth graders,” Jennifer said. “When I read at Windsor, I read with a lot of different children of diverse ethnic backgrounds. That was interesting to get a different perspective of children. It is a very diverse school.”
Amber Juffer, Site Coordinator for St. Theresa Catholic School, had nothing but praise for Jennifer as a mentor.
“She’s really consistent,” Amber said. “Always happy to be here, and her kids, no matter who it is, she connects just like that with them. She’s the perfect mentor, really. All the kids like her that she’s read with.”
Jennifer said that she became involved with Everybody Wins! Iowa through a friend who read with the program and told her about the positive impact it can have on a child’s life.
“I’m an avid reader, so I think it’s really important for our children to read and read well, because I don’t think they can do most of their subjects unless they can read well,” Jennifer said. “We need to try to continue to make (the program) important and grow. It’s really important for people to understand what a difference it makes in a child’s life.”
Thank you for being a wonderful mentor, Jennifer!