This Week at READ USA

Literacy Tutoring

HS Junior Preview Day at UNF

  • Read USA Inc.
  • March 22 2023

tutoring_large-1While READ USA’s Literacy Tutoring program is making measurable literacy progress in elementary students, it is also building workforce and employment skills for our teen tutors.

As part of our focus on workforce development and preparing teens for future learning and career opportunities, READ USA has partnered with the University of North Florida (UNF) to host our teen tutors for a Junior Preview Day this coming Saturday, March 25 from 9am-2pm. 

Our teen tutors, who are currently high school juniors and will be seniors next school year, will come to UNF to learn about college programs, how to prepare college applications, financial aid, and the college experience overall. UNF Ambassadors will host our teens and conduct a Q&A panel, provide a tour of the campus, and offer additional resources, information, and insights for those who are interested in the field of education. Just like we do for our Literacy Tutoring program, READ USA will provide transportation to our teen tutors who do not have their own.

Junior Tutors: If you have registered to attend yet, let your teacher know TODAY! Email with any questions.

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We are so grateful for our partners at UNF and the UNF Ambassadors who will host our teen tutors! We look forward to sharing photos and what our teen tutors learned from the experience soon!

Literacy Locker Room at Hogan-Spring Glen Elementary

The Jacksonville Jaguars have been making the rounds in our community! IMG_0516_large

READ USA had the pleasure to host yet another Literacy Locker Room event with the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation!

Our fifth event this season, this Literacy Locker Room took place at Hogan-Spring Glen Elementary and was sponsored by Florida Blue. At these events, which take place at elementary schools across Duval County, children receive free books from the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation and READ USA.

Representatives from Florida Blue, including North Florida Market President Darnell Smith and other team members; Jaguars Foundation Community Impact and Programs Manager Michael Carnahan; and multiple READ USA staff members attended the event. Special guests were Jacksonville Jaguars players #20 Daniel Thomas and #23 Foye Oluokun, members of the Jacksonville Roar, and Jaxson de Ville. The Jags players also read with the children during the event, giving students a special, memorable connection to literacy and one of our city’s favorite sports teams.

Thank you to the Jacksonville Jaguars Foundation and Florida Blue for your ongoing support of READ USA and your commitment to closing the literacy gap in Duval County! 



Join Us on April 1st in Downtown Jax!

No, this is not an early April Fool’s joke: FREE books available!

READ USA is thrilled to participate in Family Reading Day as part of Celebrate Reading Week next week. On April 1st from 11am-1pm at James Weldon Johnson Park in downtown, READ USA will join multiple community partners for a day of family fun that celebrates literacy, reading, and our favorite thing: books!!

We will be giving away FREE books for the first 300 children to visit our table and also hosting a bookmark making station for kids to create their own bookmarks. The event also features a children’s book character parade, face painters and balloon artists, and multiple special appearances from local and national celebrities.

Check out the flyer and QR code below for additional details. We look forward to seeing you there!


Children’s Book: Brains! Not Just a Zombie Snack, by StacyBrains_large McAnulty

Illustrated by Matthew Rivera

This book is funny and filled with facts! Our narrator is a zombie who has committed to not eating brains. She says, “Brains are 78% water, 100% delicious.” With illustrations that appeal to young readers, this nonfiction text is full of diagrams, facts, and a new way to learn about the organ that does it all from a surprising perspective. The main character teaches all about the things a brain can do, besides for being the best snack for zombies, of course!

Submitted by Tabetha Cox, Tutoring Program Director

Parent Education Corner: Respectful Communication Skills

All children are unique and special. They have unique personalities, interests, strengths, and experiences. Their uniqueness needs to be celebrated and respected. A part of each child’s individuality is the way they interact with others. Some children are timid and watchful, others are talkative and outgoing. As parents, it is our job to provide an environment where the child’s personality is recognized and respected and where they learn to communicate respectfully with others.

Respectful communication is basic to success. The communication skills they learn and practice with you will serve them well as they begin school and throughout their lives.

What you can do:

Demonstrate respectful behavior. Listen to what your child has to say. Get down on their level, look them in the eye, and let them know you are interested in what they are saying. This is the best way to teach your child to listen carefully to you and others.

Validate your child’s feelings. When you minimize your child’s feelings (“it’s not a big deal that your Spiderman shirt is dirty”) it shows your child that you do not appreciate their feelings. Acknowledge how your child feels (“I know it’s disappointing that your shirt is dirty, would you like the dinosaur or Superman shirt instead? Help me put the Spiderman shirt in the wash and you can wear it tomorrow.”). Respectful communication is developed when a child feels validated.

Teach polite responses. Your child can show respect and caring for others through good manners. As soon as they can communicate verbally, teach them to say “please” and “thank you.” Model by saying “please” and “thank you” to your preschooler.

Praise respectful communication. Reinforce your preschooler’s impromptu displays of respectful communication as much as possible. Be specific. The praise should describe the behavior in detail. Instead of saying “good girl” say “Thank you for saying please when you asked for a snack.” Let your child know that their efforts are worthwhile and appreciated.

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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