April Mentor of the Month

Julia Bash, mother of two, works at John Deere Financial in the marketing department doing web publishing. She is an avid reader, currently reading two scary books, and has problems putting books down.

“I have to set a time for reading because if I don’t, I tend to read until the book is done,” Julia said. “I can’t read an hour a night. I’m an all or nothing kind of reader.”  

As a child, she was involved in Scholastic Book Club and enjoyed trading the books she got with her friends. She joins over twenty other employees at John Deere Financial every Wednesday at Findley Elementary to mentor Kyle and Sawyer. They have been together for over two years.

Julia first heard about Everybody Wins! Iowa because her boss was a mentor and came back to the office talking about how rewarding it is.

“It really is rewarding,” Julia said. “Sawyer, Kyle, and I have a fun relationship and a good time when we read. I really enjoy that I can be somewhat of an influence in their lives. You don’t think that half an hour, forty five minutes is very much, but they constantly ask me when I’m going to come back.”

When asked what mentoring means to her, Julia said that years ago when her children were little, she would help out at their schools as a volunteer.

“I think somewhere deep down I liked being a teacher because I helped them with all their schoolwork,” Julia said. “This is just another extension of that.”

Julia stated that she really loves the Everybody Wins! Iowa program.

“I loved watching the kids grow and mature and that I’ve had the same students,” Julia said. “Next year I’ll get new students and so I’ll probably stay for three more years.”

Julia really believes in the EWI’s goal of not teaching the students how to read, but getting them to love reading. Her students have different interests and abilities, so Julia always tries to find a happy medium to get and keep their attention.

“I usually read every other page so that the boy who likes to read can and still eat his breakfast,” Julia said. 

On top of working with her two elementary school students, Julia also helps her preschool aged grandson. He struggles with sounding out words, which is why Julia works on phonics with him.

“I think having phonics everyday helps solidify what a letter sounds like so that when they started reading, they learn to sound out the words a little better,” Julia said.

Thank you Julia for your commitment to brightening children’s futures through reading!

Leave a Reply