This Week at READ USA

Special Guests at READ USA Tutor Training

  • Read USA Inc.
  • June 14 2023

We had the honor to host some special VIPs at our Tutor Training this past weekend!

We are so grateful that School Board Chairwoman Dr. Kelly Coker, District 1 representative, and DCPS Chief Academic Officer Paula Renfro took time on their Saturday to join us and the aspiring teen tutors and teachers we hosted! The tutors-in-training and teachers appreciated the opportunity to meet and speak with Dr. Coker and Ms. Renfro, both of whom are long-time educators and administrators who have dedicated their careers to the students of Duval County. Thank you both so much for joining READ USA this weekend!

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Summer 2023 tutoring kicked off this week at 18 elementary schools across Jacksonville, where 180 teens began tutoring nearly 800 elementary students over the next six weeks. To prepare our teen tutors and teachers, READ USA hosts two-day training sessions that cover everything from reading and phonics lesson structure and implementation, best practices, sustaining student focus and engagement, and Trust-Based Relational Intervention strategies! Tutors also receive workforce development training such as career exploration, financial literacy, and professional conduct.

Many thanks to our community partners who also routinely participate in our trainings to provide teen tutors with workforce development skills and other valuable topics, including Hope Street, VyStar Credit Union, City Year, the University of North Florida, and United Way. We are also grateful for our partners at Duval County Public Schools, CareerSource of Northeast Florida, Goodwill Industries of North Florida, Kids Hope Alliance, and the Mayors Youth at Work Program for funding. Your support increases the value that teen tutors – the future of our nation’s workforce – derive from READ USA Literacy Tutoring!


Jeremy Meets with Brian Wolfburg, CEO of VyStar Credit Union

READ USA’s June edition of Jeremy's Journey takes our beloved character to downtown Jacksonville to meet with VyStar Credit Union's CEO Brian Wolfburg.

Both Brian and VyStar have been incredible supporters of READ USA’s mission and work, and we are so grateful that Brian took the time to sit down with Jeremy to share his story.

Did you know that when Brian was a young boy, he wanted to be a kicker for the NFL, having grown up a huge Buffalo Bills fan? While the NFL might have missed its chance, we are so grateful that Brian chose a different path, instead pursuing a career in banking and finance, which landed him in Jacksonville in 2017. He, his family, and his team at VyStar have all been passionate supporters of literacy, education, and other needs in our community. Jacksonville and READ USA are very lucky to have you, Brian!

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Children’s Book: Daddy Calls Me Man, by Angela Johnson


Paintings by Rhonda Mitchell

Daddy Calls Me Man is a collection of four short verses about the happy home life of a young boy. This is a wonderful book to read as we celebrate Father’s Day on June 18

Inspired by his family experiences and his parents’ paintings, a young boy creates four poems (“Big Shoes,” “Spin,” “Noah’s Moon,” and “Baby Sister”). Family love and the shared stories and symbols that connect the generations are prevalent themes. Rhonda Mitchell symbolizes these themes in vivid oil illustrations by introducing each of his poems with one of his parents’ paintings. “Baby Sister” brings out the best in the young boy, Noah. He shares toys, his room and his favorite stuffed bear – and inspires his daddy to call him man.

Submitted by Kathi Hart, Tutoring Program Content Specialist

Parent Education Corner: Activities to Promote Literacy Growth in Grades PK-1st

During the READ USA Book Fairs, every child that attended was given a READ USA Parent Guide with literacy activities and reading support for you to use at home. These resources are especially beneficial as you support your child’s literacy development during the summer months.

We will be sharing these resources in the Parent Corner this month in case you missed receiving your Parent Guide from the READ USA Book Fair. You can also access digital versions of the Parent Guide here (and they are available in nine different languages, too!).

Enjoy these fun and engaging activities with your child this summer!

Here are activities to promote literacy growth in students in grades PK-1st:


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!

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