Wednesday, April 29, 2015



Saying thank you is a positive way to show your appreciation and the Jewish Coalition for Literacy (JCL) is ready to give a shout out 180 times. That's the number of literacy volunteers who are being feted on Thursday, May 14 at the Jewish Community Center, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge at 9:30 a.m.  Abel Catering is donating breakfast.

A love of reading and learning is imparted to each child at every one hour visit to New Haven Public Schools' seven partner sites all through the school year.  The JCL is the proud recipient of the Superintendent's Award from the New Haven Network for Public Education for its outstanding contributions to public education.  In addition, JCL is an award-winning project of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven.

The adult volunteers are from a diversity of faiths and educational backgrounds who meet one-on-one with students to encourage improving skills in conversation and reading.  Dedicated volunteers help provide individualized sessions, filling the gap when resources in classrooms are not adequate.

This year Linda Friedlaender, the Senior Curator of the Yale British Art Museum, will be the keynote speaker.  Her topic will be "Do You See What I See?," dealing with how to enhance observational skills to improve clinical diagnostic procedures.  She co-produced this program that has been adopted by over 50 medical schools and has been used to measure learning outcomes in museum settings utilizing original works of art as visual text.  It has also been instrumental in helping with a local community of adults with social and cognitive disorders as well as for children with autism.  Krista Bergin, Literacy Intervention Facilitator on the New Haven Board of Education, will preside over the morning's activities.

To measure the impact of these dedicated volunteers, all one has to do is listen to the teachers who see "our students grow tremendously in their self-esteem, experience increased motivation to read by sharing one on one time with an adult who comes to read with them every week.. .students increased  their vocabulary, which helps them express themselves more clearly...students reading comprehension as well as interest in reading have greatly progressed...wonderful hearing students enthusiastically talk about what they are reading with their volunteer."

Clearly the JCL volunteers "make the children feel like they are the center of the  universe, make the 'teaching' and learning fun-no test and no pressure-just reading and working with words for the love and enjoyment of it."

For a reservation to this event, free and open to the public, call Brenda Brenner at 203-387-2424, ext. 308 or online at  Maybe you will be inspired  to  join this proud troupe of giving and caring individuals.

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