This Week at READ USA

Jeremy's Journey

Jeremy Meets Local Philanthropist Martha Baker on his Latest Journey

  • Read USA Inc.
  • January 12 2023

Last week we gave a hint about who Jeremy, our fictional namesake character from READ USA’s Jeremy’s Journey book series, visited in December – and today we’re thrilled to reveal who she is!

Jeremy met with Martha Baker last month, and her edition of Jeremy’s Journey will be published and available later this month in January.

Martha Baker (website)

Martha is a dedicated community volunteer, leader, and philanthropist who has served Northeast Florida in countless ways during the past 30 years. She currently serves on the boards of The Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, the Baptist Health Foundation, Renewing Dignity, and others, and has previously served on many more, including the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens, Women’s Board of Wolfson Children’s Hospital, and numerous others. She was also a founding member of the Women’s Giving Alliance, which has awarded more than $7.7 million to 68 nonprofit organizations during the past 20 years.

We are so excited to share her story with you! Stay tuned!      

We Still Need Teen Tutors!

READ USA still has an immediate need to hire 40 more teen tutors to support our Literacy Tutoring program this spring!

Hear directly from one of our teen tutors, Liano, about his experience with tutoring:

Watch the segment here:

TutorRecruitment NewsSegment

(Thank you again to Melanie Lawson and News4Jax for welcoming us on The Morning Show last month!)

Do you know of any teens looking for work this spring? Have them apply NOW! Here are the details:

  • Students select from a large corpus of high-quality books with corresponding lesson plans that the tutors use to deliver reading lessons to help elementary students improve their literacy skills. READ USA provides supports and resources to our Teen Tutors, including lesson plan training and access to supervising teachers during all tutoring sessions.
  • Tutors are needed in Mandarin, Southside, Arlington, Town Center and at the Beaches.
  • Tutors can expect:
    • $15/hour
    • 9-12 hours a week (Tuesday-Thursday, after school)
    • Transportation (if needed) from their high school to the elementary school for tutoring, and from the elementary school to their home.

Please encourage interested teens to apply TODAY at

Apply Today

READ USA Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The team at READ USA is looking forward to honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this coming Monday, Jan. 16 (though his actual birthday is on Sunday, Jan. 15).

While Dr. King had many insightful perspectives about education, one particular quote of his continues to resonate with us at READ USA:

“Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction.”

We strongly believe that LITERACY must enable one to sift and weight evidence and discern fact from fiction. Literacy is the essential foundational component of education, and we work hard every day at READ USA to close the literacy gap in Duval County and beyond. We continue to be inspired by the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not only on Monday, but every day of the year.

Through its Martin Luther King, Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University has published a list of recommended books and readings about Dr. King. You can view that full list and additional info about the Institute here: Recommended Readings.

Children’s Book: Children's Book: Frogness, by Sarah Nelson

Book Frogness by Sarah Nelson

Illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Sammy and his trusty companion Chocolate love to go frogging in the deep marsh. They are sure that with enough tenacity and cunningness, they will find a frog soon! Although the frogs sing and chirp, cluck and burp, they can’t spot one for anything. Searching in lumps and cracks, puddles and grass, Sammy and Chocolate plop down in the grass in defeat. In their stillness, they begin to see movement! What will it be? Will the frogs make their appearance? And if they come out, will Sammy and Chocolate be able to finally catch one to call their own? The pictures are engaging, and the text provides rhyme, song, onomatopoeia, and dreams of froggy fun. Complete with backmatter all about frogs, and full of local color highlighting the marsh lands, this story is sure to provide familiarity and exploration for Florida’s newest little residents… the children. This book is a K-2nd grade finalist for Florida Children’s Book Award for 2022-2023.

Backmatter: “Supplementary material in the back of a book, such as a glossary, a recommended reading list, references, an index, an author’s note or biography, or information about the book” (Peachtree Online, 2015).

Submitted by Tabetha Cox, Tutoring Program Director

Parent Education Corner: Reading To and With Your Child: Benefits and Beginnings

There are many benefits of reading to your child every day. Some are: helping your child bond with you, increasing their vocabulary, supporting great reading skills, and exposing children to topics that assist with their imagination and empathy.

READ JAX, a community impact group with the goal of every child reading on grade level by 3rd grade, has adopted the slogan, “Twenty Minutes a Day Paves the Way.” Research shows that 20 minutes of reading or being read to can:

  • Provide time for parents and caregivers to bond with children
  • Expose children to as many 1.8 million words per year
  • Help students reach the 90th percentile on standardized tests
  • Improve listening skills
  • Prepare pre-kindergartners for school
  • Improve their earning potential later in life
  • Lead to healthier lives

READ USA is a proud partner and lead with READ JAX in this effort toward achieving grade-level reading proficiency. Do you want to learn more about the benefits of reading? Visit

How can you get started with reading to your child?

Young readers should be free to explore books and all the wonderful parts. You can start by talking with your child about what they notice in the pictures. Look through the book with your child and discuss what they notice before reading the words. Some questions you can ask before reading are:

  • What is happening here?
  • How do they feel?
  • How do you know?
  • Where are they?
  • What time of day is it?
  • What is the weather like?
  • When is this happening?
  • Why are they doing that?

There is a lot to discover in the illustrations before you read the words on a page. Let your discovery help you set the mood for your reading time together this week.

Submitted by Tabetha Cox, Tutoring Program Director

We Want to Hear from YOU!

New for this year, READ USA launched the “Parent Education Corner,” a weekly newsletter section focused on parents and providing parents with tools and resources to help your child grow and prosper in literacy. We want your input on what you’d like to see in future editions!

Have questions about literacy? Have specific resources in mind that have been helpful for you? We want to hear YOUR thoughts on future content – how can READ USA help you be a stronger advocate and literacy champion for your child?

Complete the survey here to share your thoughts with us!

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