Thank you for Reading, Juneteenth, Julie Haselden Profile, Crystal Merrill Profile, Upcoming Dates, Summer Reading, End-of Year Appreciation Parties, Evaluations are promising, Summer Office Hours, Share your stories, Volunteer Recruitment, May Day of Giving Thank You
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Thank you Volunteer Readers!

We have had another successful year working with the children and WCCUSD.  Evaluations returned from families show that there has been a beginning or increase in reading rituals in the home.  We have had some wonderful comments from families and will try to put them on the Read-Aloud website before the end of the summer.

And speaking of success, Read-Aloud staff had an outreach booth at the Richmond Juneteenth celebrations.  A young woman headed our way; she had been a student at Stege and wanted to know if she could get involved.  She said: 
“Read-Aloud was very important to me when I was younger. It made me want to read. Without it I don't think I'd be where I am today (indicating her African American Student Medal of Honor). The volunteers were always so nice and encouraging.”

It made us all happy and enriched the day.  As readers and program staff, we see the change in the children as they become curious about reading and see the love they have for their books.  They know when they are with you that another book will soon be theirs.  It is gratifying to see that for some of our children and families a window to the world opens and they have more opportunities and possibilities, as this young woman discovered.   We could not do this work without your absolute dedication.  Grazie, Mille Grazie!

Impromptu reading session with give-away books at Juneteenth Festival at Nicholls Park in Richmond.

Save the Date(s):

Orientation will be held on 10:30 am -12:30 pm on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley at 1 Lawson Rd, Kensington. Bagels and coffee will be served. If you cannot attend this orientation, other arrangements will be made.
In mid to late August the office will be sending out School Choice forms if you have not filled one out, and TB test requests if your TB results are more than three years old.
The program is anticipated to run from October 3 to April 27th next year, with a mandatory training session at the end of September.


Please send your favorite interactions with children, your stories, to us and also if you would a volunteer profile to add to our collections.  Summer is the time we can catch-up on the web design and update information, so now is a great time for us.  If you haven’t checked out the web, please do.  We have had positive comments from many users here and in several countries, including the UK, France and Germany.
Crystal Merrill, Program and Montalvin Coordinator Profile:
I joined Read-Aloud as a Volunteer at Washington in 2011 and became the Program Coordinator in November 2014. I started the program at Montalvin Manor in 2015-16.
Reading has always interested me; I remember looking forward to my 1st grade teacher reading the class stories - James and the Giant Peach, A Wrinkle in Time and By the Great Horned Spoon. Reading takes me to worlds beyond and grounds me in our common experiences. I decided to volunteer with Read-Aloud to share my love of reading and try to give kids some of that wonder.
As a biracial child myself, I am interested in multicultural books. I also love books about science and fantastical worlds. I grew up in the area and attended WCCUSD schools, graduating from El Cerrito High School. I went to UC Davis and got my doctorate in Materials from UC Santa Barbara, so I know that students in the schools we read at have the opportunity to go far academically with the right support system. Hopefully, we help provide some of that groundwork.
Julie Haselden (Reader at Coronado) Volunteer Profile:
I began volunteering as a reader for the Read-Aloud Volunteer Program shortly after retiring from a career in maintenance and construction.  Reading aloud with children has been a pleasure every year.  I consider this program a win-win for the children and the readers.  The children clearly benefit from the positive relationships with the readers as they develop their love for reading and books.  Readers enjoy benefits beyond just sharing their time with children and helping to nurture reading skills.  We also enjoy the books that we read!  Learning about our world, the joy of a good story and sharing a laugh are just a few of the delights readers enjoy.  I have invited friends to join Read-Aloud and several have become readers.  I am grateful to be a part of this valuable program

Summer Readers--Family Celebrations

If you are interested in supporting Read-Aloud at individual events throughout the summer, please let the office know.  We are looking at opportunities to hold several one-off reading events and to share tips with families.  These celebrations will take place at Richmond and San Pablo libraries and WCCUSD summer schools.  There will be food, book-giveaways and fun activities to be shared.


The early data looks promising, and we hope to have it completed soon.  We will post the results on the web when they are finalized.

Recruitment of Volunteers

Readers—word of mouth is still the best outreach.
Read-Aloud continues to seek readers.  The more readers the more children we can serve.  Your stories about the program are still the best recruiting tool we have.  Read-Aloud is also increasing outreach to events and interested in giving presentations to groups.  If you have any suggestions, please let the program know. 
Board Member Noemi Gallardo had a baby boy! 
Congratulations to Noemi and family on the arrival of their beautiful baby boy Adan.

Office Hours for the Summer

For most of July the office will only be open twice a week.  If you phone, we will get back to you as soon as we can.  E-mail will be checked almost daily:
The first two-weeks of August there will be no coverage, but after the 15th the office will be open two to three days a week.
May on-line giving day: Thank you to all who tried to donate through the East Bay Community Foundation’s Day of Giving.  Kimbia’s (the day's organizer) system collapsed nationwide and many of you were unable to donate. Your effort again demonstrates your commitment to the program; we had many calls and e-mails. Some readers sent checks after countless tries to donate through the web.  Because of all you did, we reached our matching gift from the board and doubled our funds for the day, for a total of just over $6,000.

End of Year Appreciation Events

The coordinators wanted to try a more intimate setting this year and these site- specific events were a hit.  Each had its own flair; children singing and reciting, a principal’s priceless words, a mother coming by to thank the volunteers, readers’ stories, enjoyment in each others' company, and delicious food and beverages to snack our way through.  These small events were heavily attended and the feedback received is that site end of year events are what everyone would like to see in the future.
From all of us to all of you, have a wonderful summer and see you soon!
Copyright © 2016 Read-Aloud Volunteer Program, All rights reserved.

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