This Week at READ USA

Literacy Tutoring

Spring Literacy Tutoring Kicks off Today!

  • Read USA Inc.
  • January 4 2023

Last week, READ USA hosted a training session for more teen tutors and teachers to prepare for today’s kick-off of Literacy Tutoring for the Spring semester. Thank you to everyone who joined us! We are so excited for these teen tutors to begin working this week across numerous Duval County Public Elementary Schools!

To prepare our teen tutors, who are paid of a living wage of $15/hour for their tutoring sessions, READ USA conducts extensive training that arms each teen tutor with the evidence-based instructional methods and tools they need to help the elementary students they tutor improve their literacy skills and become successful readers.

And today, our teen tutors are off and running for the Spring semester! We are so grateful for our tutors’ dedication to the young minds they will engage every week for the coming months.

Check out a few photos from last week’s training!

  Tutor Training 12.29 websize (1)  Tutor Training 12.29 websize (2) Tutor Training 12.29 websize (4)

#ICYMI: Read Alouds with READ USA at the Cummer Museum

In case you missed it before the holidays, READ USA recently released a series of new Read Alouds in partnership with the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and the Rotaract Club of Jacksonville's Beaches:


Read Alouds, which READ USA first launched during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, are where adults read diverse children’s books on video for children to listen, learn, and follow along at their own pace.

This new 10-video series, accessible via our YouTube channel, provides children with a variety of stories that reflect different cultures and ethnicities. The purpose behind the series is to help children develop an appreciation of self by being able to experience diverse books featuring people that look like them, while also experiencing the unique artistic and cultural resources available at the Cummer Museum. Ten members of the Beaches Rotaract conducted the Read Alouds at the Cummer Museum and discussed how each of the stories are related to the artworks and gardens featured in the videos.

Read more about this here and access the Read Alouds here.

Can you guess who Jeremy visited in December?

Last month, Jeremy – our fictional namesake character from READ USA’s Jeremy’s Journey book series – visited another incredible community leader and philanthropist who has a very interesting story to share. Her story will be coming out this month, so stay tuned for the big reveal!

Jeremys Journey_Martha Baker (websize)

Jeremy’s Journey author Susan Brandenburg (right) meets with our next Jeremy’s Journey interviewee (left).

Do you know who she is and where they are standing?!


Children’s Book: Dolls and Trucks are for Everyone, by Robb Pearlman

Book - Dolls and Trucks are for Everyone by Robb Pearlman

Illustrated by Eda Kaban

A storybook for young children, Dolls and Trucks are for Everyone shows that toys are just toys. They are there to bring joy, no matter where the joy begins and what path it takes. We also read about strings and instruments, and wood and fabric, hockey and figure skating. This book encourages freedom of choice and exploration with toys and using your imagination in play. This book is from the illustrator of Pink is for Boys, the K-2nd grade choice for Florida Children’s Book Award for 2022-2023.

Submitted by Tabetha Cox, Tutoring Program Director

A New Name and a New Purpose – Parent Education Corner!

As READ USA expands its reach to serve more children, teens, and teachers in our community, we want to recognize a large and important group of adults who provide support outside of school – parents!

A parent is a child’s first teacher, not only for literacy, but for life. However, there’s no parenting guide or manual for raising children (at least none that we’ve found)! So, READ USA plans to offer a weekly article/blog to support parents and guardians in our community on how to help your child grow and prosper in literacy.

And there’s the first lesson. What is literacy? Literacy is “The ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, compute, and communicate using visual, audible, and digital materials across disciplines and in any context” (International Literacy Association,

Let’s break this down. What are the actions we take as part of literacy? What do readers, writers, speakers, and listeners DO?

  • Identify – establish what something is, like a letter or a word
  • Interpret – explain the meaning of a word or words or even a whole book
  • Create – bring something into existence, like writing a story
  • Compute – judge if something is reasonable or makes sense
  • Communicate – share or exchange information or ideas
    • All definitions from Oxford Languages dictionary

Now, what does one USE to become literate and take the actions listed above?

  • Visual – the print (letters/words) on the page, and illustrations, graphics, and other text features; also includes print in the environment like billboards and signs
  • Audible – listening to and speaking language, such as in a conversation with people
  • Digital materials – language and text found online, in music and movies, digital books, and social media

Where do these happen?

  • Across disciplines – in art, carpentry, cosmetology, English, engineering, math, mechanics, medicine, music, plumbing, psychology, reading, science, social studies
  • In any context – in school, at home, at work, at dinner with friends, at a movie, in the car

So, you see, literacy is a part of everyone’s world. Even if you can’t read the words in a book, you can listen to the book with your child. You can have conversations with them. You can watch a movie together or listen to music. Literacy is everywhere. Just open your eyes and ears!

Enjoy some read alouds of some of our favorite Book Choice and Ownership books here!

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