Giving The Gift Of Literacy: Honoring Sharon Clement

Barbara Birchmier reading to her student at the Findley JDF Power Read program

Barbara Birchmier, who has been volunteering at Findley JDF on Wednesdays with Everybody Wins! Iowa for five years, donated $1,150 to Power Read programs in honor of her late mother, Sharon Clement. Eilene Lloyd and Carolyn McKeever also donated $100 each to show their support.

“I donated my mother’s memorial money to the Everybody Wins! Iowa program for books,” Barbara said.  “My mother appreciated books, and thought every child should have the opportunity to read a book. She was always reading, and found a good book very comforting.”

Barbara herself believes that children benefit from having access to books.

“[I] feel children who are read to deepen their vocabulary.  Donating to this program for books was very rewarding.  I always read to our children when they were young and I love to read to my grandchildren. Books can create a broader imagination for everyone,” Barbara said.

As a volunteer, Barbara has seen the positive impacts that Everybody Wins! Iowa has on people first-hand.

Barbara said, “I think everyone I work with at John Deere Financial that volunteers for [the EWI Power Read] program is impacted. It’s not just reading and then listening to the child read; it’s the relationship while you are reading, the interest you create from what you read, and the questions you are able to ask each other.  [For example,] a dog book [leads to] questions like, ‘Do you have a dog?’.  [Mentors] genuinely [take] an interest in the person [they] are reading to and this communication is just as important.”

Thank you for your generous donation and your ongoing service as a reading mentor, Barbara!

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