If you’re looking for an awesome part-time opportunity to help children in your community, look no further! Everybody Wins! Iowa is currently hiring site coordinators to assist with organizing our programs. We are hiring at the following Des Moines programs:
Cattell Elementary – 3101 E. 12th St
King Elementary – 1849 Forest Ave
With the future of the Everybody Wins! Iowa Power Read program on the line at Perry Elementary School, Kathy Eineke did what she had to do to help keep the program afloat at the school. That is why she is EWI’s featured site coordinator this month.
“I thought this was such a good program,” Kathy said. “I didn’t want it to fade away from Perry because it was brand new.”
The Perry program initially began in the fall of 2016. That’s around the same time that Kathy became a reading a mentor with the program.
But with no official site coordinator to run the program, things didn’t go as smoothly as hoped. Without a site coordinator, there was no one to communicate with EWI staff about how the program was going, and no one was there to collect the required paperwork or to report on program data.
A Perry teacher and her associate did what they could to keep the program running, but the two were both already very busy with their regular teaching duties and weren’t able to fulfill the duties asked of a typical site coordinator.
“They don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done as it is,” Kathy said.
When Kathy learned the program was in need of some help, she stepped up to the challenge and took on the site coordinator role during the second semester of the school year.
Now, the future is bright for the EWI program at Perry Elementary. Not only are the current programs near capacity, there is also discussion of expanding the programs to more students and grades next year.
“Kathy is our number one cheerleader for Everybody Wins! Iowa in Perry,” Christine Russell, EWI Program Manager said. “She is passionate about helping Perry youth with reading and providing a positive mentor for them.”
As site coordinator, Kathy has had the opportunity to really see the kids in her program start to blossom.
“The mentors will say that they’re starting to want to read,” Kathy said. “The kids also really look forward to seeing their mentor. At first they just don’t know for sure, but then they get to where they really like it. And that’s been a lot of fun.”
The mentors at Perry have been a great help to the program as well. With the exception of one mentor, everyone that has started the program has stuck with it so far.
“Perry’s a great town,” Kathy said. “If they hear about something, if you can get the word out, they’ll come.”
Thank you for everything you’ve done to help the Perry Power Read Program, Kathy!
Derek Folden’s consistency during his seven years as an Everybody Wins! Iowa reading mentor has been the key to earning him a spot as our February mentor of the month.
Derek currently reads over the noon hour on Wednesdays at Edmunds Elementary with a third grade girl. His student can sometimes be shy, but there’s no doubt that Derek has seen improvements in her confidence and reading ability since the two started reading together.
Studies have shown that having a consistent presence from an adult and forming a close relationship with them is one of the most important factors for positive and healthy development.
“Students might not ask for it, but they do appreciate it in the long run,” Derek said.
Derek’s very first student he was assigned to had gone through several other mentors before he was finally paired with Derek. The student hardly said a word to Derek during their first few weeks of reading together.
“I think maybe he thought that I was going to leave,” Derek said.
But, over time, the student gradually started opening up to Derek as he started to get more comfortable.
“After it became a situation where we were comfortable with each other, he was very intelligent,” Derek said. “And he was very open to reading and talking about things in general.”
It was then that Derek realized how important it was to stick with the commitment of being at program each week with your student. He said it’s especially important for kids who don’t have an adult in their lives that are able to read or talk to their kids on a daily basis.
“A lot of these kids have parents who are working two or three jobs and may not have time,” Derek said. “So it’s nice to be able to give a lunch once a week and spend some time with a student.”
Although Derek has two kids of his own at home that he also frequently reads to, he says that being a mentor to a student is different than being a parent.
“This is more of being there, and whatever they want to talk about or do or read, you can spend that time however they want to spend it,” Derek said.
Younkers Community Days Thursday March 1 – Saturday March 3
Everybody Wins! Iowa is selling Younkers Community Days coupon booklets to help raise funding for our spring book giveaways. Each booklet sold will buy one book.
You may purchase a booklet from our office by calling or from your site coordinator during Power Read before March 1st (coupon sales run 3/1 to 3/3) or purchase online here: http://bit.ly/2GB4fwG
Booklets are a $5 donation (100% comes to Everybody Wins! Iowa) and there are over $500 of savings in each booklet, including a $10 off coupon for first purchase made.
If you would like to help promote sales at the Jordan Creek Younkers store or to help request coupon booklets, please call (515) 277-5590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your participation in this simple community fundraising event!
Becky Evans felt the need to set aside some time doing something that would contribute to making the world a better place. That is what brought her into her current role as a site coordinator for Everybody Wins! Iowa at South Union Elementary School.
This is Becky’s second year of coordinating, and the experience has been one that she very much enjoys. She especially enjoys the initial reunion between mentors and students each week.
“There is some sort of magic in it that is rewarding to witness,” Becky said.
Becky is quite familiar with the feeling of a mentor being reunited with their student as she was a reading mentor just last year.
A warm smile and a strong passion are two things that Becky always bring to her programs, Christine Russell, Program Manager for Everybody Wins! Iowa, said.
“She enjoys getting to know her mentors at her two sites and considers them family,” Christine said. “As a mother herself to two boys, she knows the importance of reading aloud to children and sharing the love of literature.”
It’s enjoyable for Becky to see the relationships that develop between mentors and their students. There has been one particular student and mentor relationship that Becky has grown fond of.
“The student started off a bit reluctant and difficult,” Becky said. “Now, there is no friction and I think a real, respectful friendship is developing. “
For anyone who is looking to occupy their time, Becky wants to encourage you to give reading and mentoring with Everybody Wins! Iowa a try.
“The organization’s name is perfect,” Becky said. “It is wonderful being part of such a positive experience for all involved.”
Becky also wanted to be sure to give thanks to her school contact, Jessica Purscell, as well as the other staff at South Union Elementary, for all of their help and support.