November Mentor of the Month: Deb Thompson

Deb Thompson has been a mentor since 2018 and has made a huge impact on the Power Read program at Walnut Street School. Last school year she went over and beyond to help-out at Walnut Street when we lost our site-coordinator. She read at both programs times on Tuesday and helped our site-coordinator take the students to and from the classroom/recess since the program times overlapped and going to various floors was required. This school year Deb is serving as a long-term sub as she and her husband are moving to Illinois but wanted to be able to participate until that time.  

Outside of mentoring with Everybody Wins! Iowa, Deb and her husband are both retired. They are moving to Illinois in order to be close to their friends/ family in that area. While they were living in Des Moines they enjoyed going to art (music and theatre) and sport events.   

Deb got involved with EWI because she saw a post about the organization on Facebook and then attended an Information Session at United Way of Central Iowa. She joined because she recognized the need to help students with their reading skills. She also felt like Everybody Wins! Iowa was similar to a program she was involved with in Illinois called “Project Read.” This program helps adults develop their reading skills.

Deb’s favorite days during the EWI program year are when the students were gifted books to take home for their personal libraries. She also enjoys when the students connect what they are reading with their real life and when they share stories with openness and honesty. Deb really enjoyed reading the very entertaining book How to Babysit a Grandfather and books about animals with her students. 

Deb understands that consistency is key therefore she urges current or future mentors to communicate when they need to be gone so that the students understand what is going on. When she moves she will miss the reading and interactions that she has had with students. 

Lisa Nielsen who is Deb’s site coordinator at Walnut Street, had this to say about her: “Deb has been a fantastic mentor this semester. As a substitute mentor at Walnut Street School she reads with a variety of students from kindergarten through third grade. Her enthusiasm for reading and love of books is infectious and the students love reading with her. Both the students and I will miss seeing Deb every week. On behalf of the students at Walnut Street School, we wish you well on your next adventure.”

Everybody Wins! Iowa thanks Deb for her positivity and dedication during her time mentoring with us. We also wish her the best of luck with her future endeavors. 

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