This Week at READ USA

Literacy Tutoring

Calling All Professionals: Mock Interviewers Needed!

  • Read USA Inc.
  • November 2 2023



Do you want to help boost our tutors’ confidence? Here’s your chance!

On Saturday, December 2, READ USA will host a Mock Interview Day for the teen tutors in our Literacy Tutoring program, and we are seeking professionals to serve as volunteer interviewers!

Volunteers will conduct mock interviews with our teen tutors to help sharpen their interview skills, refine how they present themselves professionally, boost confidence, and set them up for future career success!

READ USA welcomes any industry or corporate professional to serve as a volunteer from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Schultz Center (4019 Boulevard Center Drive). An information session prior to the Mock Interview Day will provide volunteers with logistical and other details to ensure they are fully prepared and know what to expect. The information session date will be announced soon.



You don’t need to be an HR expert – we want a variety of industries and professions represented!

Sign up & Join Us

For more information or for questions, please contact Ashlea Jones, Workforce Development Director for READ USA, at

#ICYMI: Mayor Donna Deegan’s Jeremy’s Journey Book Available for Ordering

Our fictional storyteller, Jeremy, recently published his latest book!

Jeremy recently sat down with Mayor Donna Deegan to learn about her journey as a news anchor, a nonprofit and marathon founder, and author to becoming Jacksonville’s first female mayor!2023 Vol 9 Jeremys Journey Donna Deegan_large

Not only has Donna accomplished many inspirational feats both personally and professionally – including beating breast cancer three times – she is also a fervent reader leader! And, she has made literacy a focus of her administration as she knows that “literacy and knowledge are poverty’s cure.”

READ USA could not wait for Jeremy to interview Mayor Deegan – and now his book is available for ordering!

For $20, you can receive Mayor Deegan’s or any other Jeremy’s Journey volume from the past two years, or you can obtain a full year’s volume set for $240.

Also – stay tuned for more details soon about the forthcoming release of Vol. 10 featuring Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole!

Place Your Order


Children’s Book: Crenshaw, by Katherine ApplegateCrenshaw_large

Katherine Applegate’s novel is about a young boy whose family is struggling with financial difficulties, homelessness, medical issues, and food insecurity. In this poignant novel, Jackson is confronted with real issues that are sometimes difficult to process. This narrative conveys a lightness and heartfelt understanding of these controversial topics.

Crenshaw is told in three epigraphs. Part 1 discusses the re-immergence of Crenshaw in Jackson’s life. Part 2 shares Jackson’s memories of his first encounter with homelessness and food poverty. In Part 3, Jackson’s emotional growth is shared, and his family is transparent regarding their dire situation.

Crenshaw is an imaginary cat who is only visible to Jackson. In the novel, Crenshaw is present in Jackson’s life and shows up when he needs him. He re-appears in Jackson’s life to give him the opportunity to share his feelings about his family’s situation. Jackson’s father was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and his mother was laid off from her job as a music teacher. Jackson’s parents try to shield him and his sister from some of the harsh realities that they are experiencing. These dire realities forced Jackson’s parents into the hardships that they endured.

With the sobering themes of homelessness, not having enough food to eat, and parents without jobs, this story is awe-inspiring, showing the reader how one family is determined to overcome the obstacles that they face. This story reminds the reader how easily circumstances can change the lives of people, but love, kindness, and patience can counter-balance life’s hardships.

Submitted by Dr. Barbara Lacey-Allen, Book Programs & Family Engagement Director


Parent Education Corner: Literacy Activities for Preschoolers – Find Time to Rhyme

As parents we try to help our children navigate the exciting journey of learning to read and all the while wanting reading to be fun! Children grow and learn in many ways, and language and literacy for preschoolers can take many forms. Many children learn best when they can be active, connect to the real world, and learn through play.

Here are a few literacy activities that take only a little paper or preparation and can fill your home with movement, letters, sounds, and word fun!

Find Time to Rhyme

Language and literacy for toddlers start with the spoken word and the recognition of patterns. Rhyming literacy activities help them connect to the similarities in different sounds and words to pave the way for more confident literacy skills further down the road.

Rhyming Ball – It’s easier for children to recognize rhyming words than it is to come up with them. In this game, children can show the rhymes they know. Sit facing each other a few feet apart and roll a ball to your child. Then say two words. If the words rhyme (truck, duck), your child should roll the ball back to you. If the words don’t rhyme (red, cat), your child should keep the ball until you offer a pair of rhyming words.

Rhyme Workout – Get kids to stretch their rhyming muscles! When you call out a word, your child has to think of the body part that rhymes with that word and then touch it. Model a few examples: I say “jelly” then you touch your (belly), and I say “hear” then your touch your (ear). Then do the workout with your child! Call out the rhyming word: I say “snow” then your touch your _______ and then say the rhyme together as you both move – “snow, toe!” Go through as many body parts as you can (feet, knees, head, arm, hand, cheek, hair, neck, back, etc.) Keep your child thinking and moving by changing up the rhyming words when you repeat body parts (grow, toe).

Submitted by Kathi Hart, Content Specialist

Do you have any questions or ideas for the Parent Education Corner? Anything you’d like to learn? Let us know here!

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