Local literacy nonprofit Read To Succeed has welcomed two new staff members, both who bring extensive education backgrounds to the organization.
Kristina Brown & Debbie Mankin
Kristina Brown has joined Read To Succeed as the new Family Literacy Coordinator, hoping to continue the program’s growth. Brown, a former teacher, is passionate about early childhood education.
“If kids leave the sixth grade without learning to love a book,” Brown says, “then they usually don’t develop that love for reading later on.”
Parents aren’t encouraged to read aloud past a certain age, she says, but it’s just as important for higher grades to hear stories aloud as it is for younger siblings.
Read To Succeed’s Family Literacy Program serves the child, the adult, and the entire family. With three key programs offered schools in Murfreesboro and Rutherford County, as well as Franklin Heights, Mid-Cumberland Head Start and Wherry Housing in Smyrna, Read To Succeed aims to bring the family together to celebrate literacy and the joy of reading. All of the non-profit’s programs--Families That Read, Succeed, Family Literacy Nights, and Imagination Station--address specific literacy needs of the participants. These needs are identified before the program begins and focused on, including skills in phonics, comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, and phonemic awareness.
Working with education classes from MTSU, where Brown received a master’s degree in education, Read To Succeed designs programming based around a specific book; each participant goes home with a copy of the book to keep at every program.
Debbie Mankin has also joined the staff as the Volunteer Coordinator. Read To Succeed relies on hundreds of volunteers each year to help man their programs and allow room for growth. Mankin, who spent more than ten years as a high school guidance counselor and ten years in the classroom, is dedicated to bringing more volunteers into Read To Succeed’s programs.
Volunteers for the organization can train to be a one-on-one tutor for adults, help with a local ESL class, serve food and pass out books at family literacy nights, and assist the organization with a myriad of office tasks.
Mankin says that she’s been astounded with just how rewarding volunteers find working with the program to be.
“Feeling like you’re helping someone learn to read, or to appreciate reading—I’ve heard so many volunteers already say that working with Read To Succeed has been one of the most rewarding things they have done.”
For more information on Read To Succeed’s programs or to sign up to volunteer, visit readtosucceed.org, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 615-738-READ.