Good Deeds – Everybody Wins! DC

by on April 19, 2017

 

Source: Public Domain

Since early 2016, volunteers from Walsh Colucci’s Arlington Office have been participating in the Everybody Wins! DC Power Lunch Program at Key Elementary School. Currently, 14 Arlington employees make the short trip over to Key Elementary School on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to read with a reading buddy. During the month of April, Walsh Colucci will hold a book drive for Everybody Wins with the goal of expanding the program’s book selection at Key Elementary School. Several firm volunteers have shared their experiences and thoughts about Everybody Wins as well as some of their favorite books to read with their reading buddies.

Taylor Berry
Legal Secretary and Everybody Wins Volunteer since January 2017
Grade of Reading Buddy: 3rd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: The Olivia Series by Ian Falconer

“I love the program because it takes me out of my bubble and puts me in a situation that I wouldn’t otherwise be in. My father and boyfriend are teachers, and I applaud what they do, but, to me, having a whole class of students would be overwhelming. I like that Everybody Wins has allowed me to develop a one-on-one connection with my reading buddy. I moved to the area recently, so participating in Everybody Wins makes me feel like I am part of the larger community.”


Bob Brant

Land Use Attorney and Everybody Wins Volunteer since January 2016
Grade of Reading Buddy: 2nd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: The Freddie Ramos Series by Jacqueline Jules

“I love reading Freddie Ramos with my reading buddy because it’s filled with Spanish phrases that my reading buddy can help me with. It gives my reading buddy an opportunity to switch roles and teach me. I enjoy the reading aspect of the program, but I also like learning about my reading buddy, what his life is like and what he does on the weekends. I like connecting with him on a friendship level.”

Alex Butynes
Legal Secretary and Everybody Wins Volunteer since January 2017
Grade of Reading Buddy: 2nd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: The Fly Guy! Series by Tedd Arnold

“My reading buddy is really energetic and outgoing. We talk about the books we read, but we also talk about things going on her life. I think having someone at school to talk to who is not a teacher is a good outlet for her. Reading with my reading buddy really takes me back to when I was a kid!”

Tom Colucci
Transactional Attorney and Everybody Wins Volunteer since January 2016
Grade of Reading Buddy: 2nd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: Any book about Spiderman

“My reading buddy is a very engaging young man with a lot of energy. Reading with him is very rewarding. I am very impressed by Everybody Wins and all the kids who participate in the program because it is clear they all really want to be there and are excited to improve their reading skills.”

Ed Encarnacion
Senior Accountant and Everybody Wins Volunteer since February 2017
Grade of Reading Buddy: 3rd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: The Captain Underpants Series by Dav Pilkey

“My reading buddy is from Honduras, and in many ways he reminds me of myself. Although I was born in the United States, I lived in the Philippines from ages 2 to 4 where I spoke Tagalog. When I started elementary school, I didn’t know English and had to take ESL classes. It is inspiring to see how much my reading buddy works to improve his reading. It really gives context to my struggles. I remember on the first day with my reading buddy he chose a book about dinosaurs. I couldn’t pronounce half the words in that book. He must have wondered why he was paired up with someone who didn’t know how to read.”

Kim Follin
Legal Assistant and Everybody Wins Volunteer since January 2016
Grade of Reading Buddy: 4th
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: Matilda by Roald Dahl

“I have a Masters in education, but ultimately chose a different career path. Reading with my reading buddy is the highlight of my day. I think she gets a lot out of it. We both do. She has really improved her reading and grown to love reading. At home she now goes with her family to get books from the library so she is reading three to four library books per week in addition to her school work.”

Amy Friedlander
Land Use Planner and Everybody Wins Volunteer since October 2016
Grade of Reading Buddy: 3rd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst (Spanish version)

“I have enjoyed seeing the shift in my reading buddy over the year. He has really warmed up to me, and we are now both really excited to be there during each session. He also gets so excited and motivated by the positive reinforcement and prizes that the program provides. I love his enthusiasm. I also enjoy reading books with him in Spanish because he can teach me the vocabulary.”

Angela Halsted
Legal Secretary and Everybody Wins Volunteer since January 2017
Grade of Reading Buddy: 2nd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: Anything by Mo Willems

“I love watching my reading buddy learn to read. Sometimes she’ll struggle with big words, so we learn them together and then I feel like she has learned something. With so much going on at the office I don’t always feel like going to reading, but afterwards I’m always so glad I went.”

Nan Walsh
Land Use Attorney and Everybody Wins Volunteer since January 2016
Grade of Reading Buddy: 3rd
Favorite Book to Read with Reading Buddy: The Guinness Book of World Records

“My reading buddy loves reading the Guinness Book of World Records together. We make it into a guessing game, and he is amazed by all the different facts, statistics, and record holders. I think it’s a very well-organized and worthwhile program. Since we began reading together, my reading buddy has really improved his reading.”

 
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