This Week at READ USA

Book Choice and Ownership

New Partnership with STEM2 Hub

  • Read USA Inc.
  • May 3 2023

READ USA was proud to sponsor and support our partner, STEM2 Hub, during its STEM Learning Ecosystems Community of Practice 2023 Convening in Ponte Vedra Beach this week!

During the conference, which our CEO Dr. Rob Kelly attended, STEM2 Hub announced READ USA as a new partner in its mission to accelerate the growth of STEM2 education and careers. These efforts help prepare the up-and-coming workforce for future careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine. Check out more about STEM2 Hub here.

READ USA fully believes in how vital STEM-related education is to prepare our next generation for careers in highly technical and specialized fields – and we 100% believe it all starts with the ability to read and explore personal interests!


As part of our own focus on STEM education, READ USA’s Book Fairs – which are still happening through the end of May! – this year have focused on STEM-related books, giving 52,000 local elementary students the ability to choose from hundreds of STEM-related titles and topics ranging from animals to science to robotics to coding. And from what we’ve seen so far, these budding young minds have been thrilled with the selections!

Thank you to STEM2 Hub for recognizing READ USA and our efforts to support STEM education! We are proud to be your partner and do our part to cultivate a passion for STEM in today’s children.

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“It’s so rewarding to see kids make their own book choices…”


One of our generous READ USA Book Fair volunteers said it best: IMG_0872_Cropped_large

“If you can’t read, you’re not going to make it through school. READ USA promotes everything I believe in. Reading is fundamental – and it’s FUN!

I volunteer my time and also donate to READ USA because I believe in the mission and the work, and how well it’s carried out. The money’s really going to what they say it’s going to because you can visibly see the outcome. It is so rewarding to see kids be able to make their own choices with books! This right here is why I keep coming back.”

-Teri, READ USA Book Fair volunteer




Sign up today to volunteer at our Book Fairs, which run through May 26!

You can also select the school(s) you want to support. We are confident you will find the experience absolutely rewarding!

We also want to give a special shout-out to Roseann Duran for her generous donation to READ USA in honor of our Board Member Marla Buchanan. Mrs. Duran was recognized as the Book Fair sponsor at Mayport Elementary School last week where she and Marla attended with CEO Dr. Rob Kelly. In fact, Mrs. Duran was so inspired by the work READ USA is doing in the community that she is coming to visit our tutoring program this summer! We are so thankful for your support, Roseann Duran! You are helping liberate lives through literacy!


Children’s Book: Thank You, Mr. Falker, by Patricia Polacco


Written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Yesterday on May 2nd, READ USA celebrated National Teacher Appreciation Day. We encourage all of you to take the time to say thank you to current and past teachers who have made an impact on your life and/or the lives of your children.

Patricia Polacco created the book Thank You, Mr. Falker as a tribute to her 5th-grade teacher who recognizes her potential, comes to understand her reading difficulties, and takes the time to lead her to the magic of reading.

In this autobiographical story, little Patricia begins school with great excitement at learning to read. Her family celebrates the start of school by demonstrating that just like honey, knowledge is sweet, “but knowledge is like the bee that made that sweet honey, you have to chase it through the pages of a book.” Patricia quickly realizes that learning to read for her is a great struggle. She can paint and draw beautifully, but when she tries to read, all she can see is jumble. Her classmates make matters worse by calling her “dummy.” Finally in 5th grade, she is lucky enough to have a teacher who recognizes her reading disability and takes the time to teach her to read, forever impacting her life.

Thank You, Mr. Falker is a heartwarming story that contains themes of overcoming obstacles, persevering, and how kindness can make a huge difference. Most of all, this book is a reminder of the importance of all teachers and the difference they have made in our lives.

Submitted by Kathi Hart, Tutoring Program Content Specialist


Parent Education Corner: Learning our Names

A child’s name is a wonderfully engaging place to start literacy learning. Your child’s name is often their most beloved and important word and learning their name leads to all other types of learning. There are two stages of teaching your child their name:

  1. Recognition – Young children begin to recognize the shape of their initial letter and often identify that first letter as “My name.” They might find that initial letter in other places separate from their name and recognize it. For example, Sara may see a STOP sign and say, “That’s my name.” Label items with their name (the door to their room, backpack, toy box) and point their name out daily.
  2. Spelling – After your child recognizes their name then you can begin to spell it orally. Your child might be able to recite, “S-A-R-A” without seeing it written down. Add the spelling of their name to rhymes and songs. “This is the way we spell Sara. This is the way we spell Sara. This is the way we spell Sara, S-A-R-A.” They will soon notice each letter of their name, not just the initial letter. There are several activities to support your child in spelling their name. Name puzzles are one way to teach your child the letters of their name. The child’s name is written on a piece of paper and then cut into separate pieces. Place the pieces in an envelope with their name written correctly on the front. Your child will enjoy putting their name puzzle together.






Children start learning the concept of a word when they understand that their name is a word made up of letters that are always the same and in the same order. Through conversation, you can connect the letters of your child’s name to the letters and words they see in print during read-alouds. This is a powerful way to begin the complex journey of learning about letters.

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!