This Week at READ USA

Literacy Tutoring

Literacy is Freedom!

  • Read USA Inc.
  • July 5 2023


Our team at READ USA hopes you had a wonderful Independence Day celebration yesterday!

As we all came together to commemorate our nation’s official birthday, my team and I also reflected
upon our country’s foundational concept of “freedom and liberty for all” and what it means to truly
be free. As such, I am reminded of Frederick Douglass, one of our country’s bravest champions of
freedom for all, who once said:

“Once you learn to read, you will forever be free.”

In my mind, Frederick Douglass was someone in history who personified how access to education
and becoming literate empowered a person to help raise her/himself out of despair and into
freedom. Freedom and liberty are guaranteed by our constitution, yet the ability to truly be free and
to harness the power that comes from freedom resides within each one of us – IF we are armed with
the right tools. I feel it is important to remember that while freedom is the power to act, speak, and
think without hindrance, true freedom is also the absence of subjection. And for those
who cannot read proficiently, true freedom will remain out of grasp – unless we as a nation do

We at READ USA know how powerful and necessary reading and writing are to achieving
individual liberty. Throughout global history, we have seen how access to education and literacy
have been intentionally denied to numerous groups of people in order to keep them under the
control of a powerful elite. In our own country, enslaved people were categorically denied education
in an intentional effort to keep them subjugated and powerless. The power of literacy was known
then, as it is known today, and while we have made progress as a democratic society, it is my belief
that until everyone in this country has the ability to proficiently read, learn, and grow, the concept of
freedom is something that only the educated can easily harness.

This is precisely why READ USA’s mission is to solve illiteracy. Particularly in our city’s most
under-resourced neighborhoods, we are working every day to show children that, through literacy,
they can do anything in their future; that, through literacy, they have the power to choose and
achieve their dreams. And, through literacy, they can ultimately be free and pursue all the
opportunities that our great nation offers.

Freedom is a right in our country, but true freedom only comes from having the ability to read.
Literacy opens the door to freedom, and READ USA will continue to work, every day, to show
children how to open that door.

At READ USA, we will forever embrace that being literate IS freedom.

-Dr. Rob Kelly, CEO, READ USA, Inc.     


Last Chance to Visit Summer Tutoring

In just two weeks, READ USA will wrap up our Summer 2023 tutoring season! We have been so
grateful for our 180 teen tutors who have worked hard this summer to help more than 800
elementary students become better readers and lifelong learners. Summer tutoring occurs during the
day, as opposed to after school during the fall and spring tutoring seasons while school is in session.
Summer tutoring is the perfect opportunity to watch our tutors in action during the day!

IMG_9797_large   IMG_9799_large

If you haven’t yet seen READ USA tutoring in action, now is your chance! We will reconvene
tutoring this Fall, and we look forward to sharing those details soon.

If you’d like to join us at READ USA tutoring, please contact Tabetha Cox at

KIPP VOICE Academy Book Giveaway

Last Thursday, our team had a blast at the KIPP VOICE Academy’s K-8 Signing Day! Held every
year, Signing Day opens the campus for students and their families to learn more about and tour the
school, meet the staff, complete registration – and receive some giveaways!

We had the pleasure of giving a free book to every student who attended, and more than 200
students and families came to the event! We also provided READ USA Student Activity Booklets to
help making reading fun for kids, and Parent Guides to their families. Likewise, we distributed
resources from our partners at READ JAX to help students develop positive reading habits and
skills over the summer, as well as bookmarks, bags, and other fun freebies.

Thank you to KIPP VOICE Academy for inviting READ USA to be a part of Signing Day! We
loved the opportunity to meet everyone who attended!

IMG_9809_large   IMG_9802_large

Children’s Book: Blue Sky White Stars, by Sarvinder Naberhaus

Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Blue Sky White Stars is an inspiring and patriotic tribute to share with your family, as we celebrate July
4th , this week. Simple verses pair with richly expressive paintings to celebrate the American flag, a
symbol of America’s history, landscape, and people. Each spread depicts a stirring display, from the
view of the Statue of Liberty at Ellis Island, to civil rights marchers moving shoulder to shoulder, to
a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off. The themes of freedom and patriotism resonate in this
Take time to read the author and illustrator’s notes included in the book. Naverhaus’s individual
narrative of what this country means to her echoes Nelson’s careful attention to individual facial
features in his illustrations. Nelson also notes: “I hope this work will always remind us that our ever-
evolving country was forged by — and for — people from all walks of life and every background.”

Submitted by Kathi Hart, Tutoring Program Content Specialist

Blue Sky White Stars, by Sarvinder Naberhaus_large

Parent Education Corner: Daily Activities for Summer Literacy Fun

To plan a summer of fun with literacy and reading, we recommend you plan a weekly calendar of
activities for July! Here are some ideas to get you started:

👉 Sunday – Help your child create a map of your home. Label the different areas.
👉 Monday – Read a poem. Let your child guess what the next rhyming word will be.
👉 Tuesday – Visit a library. Get a library card for your child and check out some books.
👉 Wednesday – When driving with your child, turn off the music and talk about the day’s
👉 Thursday – Have your child write a note to a friend or relative. Be sure to mail it!
👉 Friday – Watch a nature program on TV. Talk about what you see and learn.
👉 Saturday – Let your child see YOU reading and writing. Write a long overdue note to a
friend, a grocery or to-do list. Read a magazine, book, or information on your device.
For additional literacy activities, visit the Just Read, Families! website here.

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!
Share this post