This Week at READ USA

Book Choice and Ownership

Final Week of READ USA Book Fairs! And a Special Surprise…

  • Read USA Inc.
  • May 24 2023

As of this Friday, May 26, READ USA will have visited all 100 Duval County Public Elementary Schools, John Love Early Learning Center, and Hospital Home Bound students with Scholastic Book Fairs! Thanks to the generosity of our donors, sponsors, and volunteers, more than 52,000 elementary students will have received two free books to build their at-home libraries and expand their minds and imaginations.

We are so grateful for the generosity and support of so many individuals and organizations in our community who make READ USA Book Fairs a possibility! Without our free Book Fairs, many students in our community would not have access to books in their home – an essential part of finding joy in reading and improving literacy skills to create a life of success. Research has shown a direct correlation between having books in the home and academic success, and READ USA takes great pride in helping close the literacy gap in our community through Book Choice & Ownership, Literacy Tutoring, and other programming.

To celebrate the final day of READ USA Book Fairs this Friday, we have a special surprise in store for the students at Merrill Road Elementary! We don’t want to spoil the surprise, but we can say that one special guest’s name is nearly the same as a certain villain from a popular Disney movie featuring oodles of puppies… 🤔🤔🤔

We can’t wait to share the surprise with you next week!

READ USA was also honored to have The Honorable April Carney, DCPS School Board Member District 2, visit the Book Fair at Sabal Palm Elementary earlier this week! We are so thankful for Mrs. Carney taking the time to stop by the Book Fair, meet with students and faculty, and even help some students look for fun titles to choose!

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Do You Know a Teen Seeking a Rewarding Summer Job

LAST CALL for Summer Job Opportunity: Teens can improve children’s lives AND earn a living

READ USA’s Literacy Tutoring Program kicks off again this summer and we need teen tutors!

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From June-July at Duval County Public Elementary Schools, teens who are passionate about their community can earn a $15/hour wage while improving the educational futures – and lives – of elementary students.

Who We Want:

  • Teens aged 16-19 (high school or early college) who live nearby summer tutoring sites, including the Northside, Arlington, Southside, and Urban Core areas.
  • Teens with the ability to work Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays every week from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. from June 12th to July 21st.

READ USA fully prepares teens to be tutors! Hear from a fellow teen about her experience:


 Click here to watch Jamiah's story.

 How Literacy Tutoring Works:

Teen tutors use pre-written lesson plans to deliver high-quality reading lessons to help elementary students improve their literacy skills. READ USA provides extensive training, onboarding, on-site support, and resources to teen tutors. Tutors have one-on-one access to supervising teachers during all tutoring sessions, who oversee, coach, and guide tutors in lesson delivery.

Teen Tutors Can Expect:

  • $15/hour for 20 hours of work per week.
  • Transportation (if needed) to and from the selected elementary school.
  • To participate in two onboarding and training sessions (training and onboarding required and tutors are paid for the training session):
    • Training Day 1 is offered June 5th or June 10th
    • Training Day 2 is offered June 6th or June 11th
  • To pass a national Level II background check and drug screen.

Apply Today


Thank you to the JAX Chamber Downtown Council! 

Last week, our CEO Dr. Rob Kelly presented at the JAX Chamber Downtown Council’s monthly meeting! Many thanks to the Downtown Council members who welcomed us and took the time to learn about the work we are doing at READ USA to close the literacy gap in Duval County and build workforce development skills among local teens. Your support of our mission is invaluable, and we are thankful for the very positive feedback (and questions!) from Council members! 

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Thank you for having READ USA join you. And a special thank you to Laura Edgecombe, Downtown Council Program Officer, for inviting Dr. Kelly to present! 

Children’s Book: Honeybee: The Life of Apis Mellifera, by Candace Fleming


Illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Splendid illustrations and engaging text combine to present readers with an up-close look at the life of a honeybee. We are allowed to jump right in, even before the title page, as we witness a new honeybee chew her way out of her birth chamber and begin working to support her hive. Each page of the book brims with information, presented with a poetic quality and capped off with a cliffhanger, enticing the reader on to the next stage of life. The vivid oil painting illustrations show the tiniest of features like the veins in her wings and the pollen in her hair. In contrast, there is a gatefold that reminds the reader how tiny she is the world we share.

The author includes additional information including a physical diagram, ways humans can help bees, facts, trivia, and additional resources.

Winner of the 2021 Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children, as well as an Orbis Pictus Honor Book and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, this is one of the best nonfiction books for children on a science topic.

Submitted by Kathi Hart, Tutoring Program Content Specialist

Parent Education Corner: Gross Motor Skills – They Matter!

Gross motor or large motor skills are the movements involving the coordination of the arms, legs, and other large body parts. Gross motor skills are movements such as running, crawling, hopping, skipping, and jumping. These movements are important for young children to practice because they help children learn how to coordinate and control their body movements. Gross motor skills also help lay the foundation to be able to complete fine motor skill movement such as pinching or grasping.

Here are six simple activities to try at home:

  1. Toss and Throw – Using bean bags, socks filled with beans or soft toys, have children toss items into a container, a taped off area on the floor, or chalk drawn areas on the driveway.
  2. Simon Says – Play “Simon Says” focusing on doing large movements such as hopping on one foot, jumping up and down, touching your toes, and taking giant steps.
  3. Bubble Play – Blow bubbles, chase, and pop them.
  4. Obstacle Course – Set up items such as hula hoops, boxes, small chairs, balls and buckets and have children climb over, under, run around, and transport items from one area to another.
  5. Dancing – Children can dance freestyle or follow songs with movements, such as “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” “I’m a Little Teapot,” or “The Wheels on the Bus.”
  6. Playing Pretend – Children boost motor skills when they use their bodies to become galloping horses, soaring planes, jumping kangaroos, or whatever they can imagine.

Your child needs plenty of time and opportunities to play and explore different activities that will help them develop their gross motor skills. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

Submitted by Kathi Hart, Tutoring Program Content Specialist

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