March Staff Feature


For seven years, Ruth Staplin has been a mentor with Everybody Wins! Iowa at Walnut Street School. Mentoring with EWI has been an important experience to Ruth, and because of that, she decided to become involved with the program in other ways.

At the beginning of this school year, Ruth started coordinating the breakfast program Findley Elementary School on Tuesdays.

“It’s been fun to see another side of Everybody Wins and how the program works,” Ruth said. “I’ve enjoyed getting to know more kids.”

As a coordinator, Ruth has enjoyed seeing relationships unfold between students and their mentors. One student-mentor relationship was paired together just last week, but Ruth can already tell it’s going to be a special relationship.

“What was really fun was to see them smiling and laughing and doing their get-to-know-you’s,” Ruth said.

On top of coordinating the program at Findley, Ruth still continues to mentor at Walnut Street School on Thursdays over the lunch hour.

“Ruth is quick to build a relationship with every student she’s had, and they are excited to see her each week,” Anna Sunstrom, former Walnut Street School Site Coordinator, said.

Ruth is currently paired together with a fourth-grade boy, and this is their second year of reading together. Her student seems to enjoy reading, and he really enjoys reading non-fiction literature.

Currently, the pair is reading a book about dangerous creatures.

“We’re going through it slowly, eight pages at a time because there’s lots of text and pictures,” Ruth said. “We’ve learned about crocodilians and poison dart frogs, and now we’ve started on the feline section. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Overall, Ruth says that the Everybody Wins! Iowa experience has been perfect fit for her.

“I really like to read and I like kids.” Ruth said. “It’s been a perfect fit for me, my interests and what I like to do. I’ve really enjoyed it.”

Thanks for everything you do, Ruth!

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