Meet Our UNH Summer Fellow: Elysia Calloway

Picture4Name: Elysia Calloway

Hometown: Wethersfield, CT

College and Major: University of New Haven ‘20, Criminal Justice w/ Concentration in Investigative Services

Tutoring Site: Bristol St.

Club: Puzzles and Strategies and Math Club

Favorite Childhood Book: If You Give… Series by Laura Numeroff and The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams


I am here at New Haven Reads thanks to the University of New Haven’s President’s Public Service Fellowship Program. When I was hired to be part of the Fellowship, the Dean of Students kept our sites a surprise for a week or two. After those couple of weeks, the Dean of Students finally told me that I was going to be apart of New Haven Reads.  I had no idea then that I would be a part of such a wonderful program.

My first couple of weeks here at New Haven Reads has consisted of administrative work, sorting books, and tutoring. The best part of my day is when I get to tutor. At first I was nervous about tutoring because I had very little experience with it.  Once I was given the orientation, however, I felt confident about what needed to be done during the tutoring hour. It was an interesting experience tutoring; the problems the students had were some of the same problems I had when I was in elementary/middle school.  In my hometown, it was very difficult to find a place that would provide tutoring the way New Haven Reads does. Although I did not have help from an organization like New Haven Reads, I’m happy that I can provide students with the opportunity to better themselves in reading, writing, and comprehension.

When I tutored at Dixwell, there was moment in particular that made me realize the great work New Haven Reads is doing.  My student had trouble with the alphabet, specifically with the letters M and N. Other tutors had wrote down different ways they used to try and help him with those two letters.  Some of the methods were making a picture of an object that starts with M or N and using flashcards. When it was my time to tutor him, I chose to try a different method: repetition. I kept making the student write out the lower and uppercase of the letters until he was able to remember which letter was which.  After a couple of tries, he sang the alphabet song all the way through without tripping up on M and N. I felt as though I had made a breakthrough! Throughout the rest of the tutoring hour, he had a lot more confidence because of what he was able to accomplish in the beginning of the session. I understand why New Haven Reads does what it does; it’s because of moments like this.

I’m very thankful that the University of New Haven gave me the opportunity to not only help students strengthen their reading, writing, and comprehension skills, but also help them feel confident about their reading abilities and anything else they put their minds too.

Categories News & Events | Tags: | Posted on July 2, 2018

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