Jim Yando has been reading mentor to a second grader at Arbor Hill Elementary as part Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County’s EVERYBODY WINS! program for more than two years.  Jim says, “I look forward to each Thursday noon and can’t wait to see the smile on my student’s face when he sees me. The students are really excited about reading and spending time during lunch with the readers.  His interest in books has definitely increased since we started reading together.  I can definitely see a difference in his reading since we started.”

Jim has helped to recruit his co-workers at Aflac to participate in EVERYBODY WINS!  “I think the program is worth the time and helps provide a valuable opportunity for students that may need the extra help.  Literacy is so important to young students since it really establishes a strong foundation for learning and future success.” 

 During the 2012-2013 program year, Everybody Wins! recruited, trained and supported 69 volunteer mentors from local businesses (including Pitney Bowes, Aflac, Turner Construction, First Niagara, and Key Bank), colleges (RPI and HVCC), and the community to read aloud to children in elementary school once a week during lunchtime. The program served children at School 14 and Sacred Heart in Troy and Sheridan Preparatory Academy and Arbor Hill Elementary in Albany. The program is funded through donations from the Pitney Bowes Foundation, Aflac, First Niagara and Turner Construction.

 To learn more about Everybody Wins! and to register for a training, call Literacy Volunteers of Rensselaer County at (518) 274-8526.