New Haven Reads has talented employees with extensive experience in education, management, and community development. In addition, we are fortunate to have numerous work study students from Yale, Quinnipiac, and University of New Haven.


DSC07752Kirsten Levinsohn, Executive Director

Kirsten has a Masters in Elementary/Early Childhood Education, a K-8 teaching certificate, and taught in the classroom for six years.  Prior to coming to New Haven in 2010, she was the executive director of the Leslie Science and Nature Center for 20 years in Ann Arbor, MI.  Kirsten is proud to be part of the dedicated group of staff, parents, and tutors at New Haven Reads who help the children in our community to become skilled readers. She has been tutoring two NHR students since 2010 and working with these students is one of the highlights of her week.




Hayley staff photoHayley Herrington, Education Director

Hayley Herrington earned her Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Education from Clark University in Worcester, MA.  She taught Spanish at a regional high school in northern Massachusetts before returning to her home state and the New Haven area.  Hayley became involved in literacy tutoring while serving as the Vice-President of Personnel for SmartStart Education and Smarties Tutoring Services.  She has worked with students and teachers from several New Haven schools and joins New Haven Reads after serving as a School Coordinator for Read to a Child’s lunchtime reading program.




Fiona staff photoFiona Bradford, Development and Communications Director

Fiona earned a Master of Arts degree in Nonprofit Organizations from the University of Georgia and a Postgraduate Certificate in Economics from the University of London. In addition to her experience in development, Fiona has experience in project management, planning, and a passion for helping nonprofit organizations. She formerly worked in Yale’s Office of Development and for various multinationals including Diageo and Tate & Lyle. She joined New Haven Reads in May 2011.

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Briana Belton-Robinson, Bristol St Site Director

Briana Belton-Robinson received a Bachelor of Science from Central Connecticut State University in Biomolecular Science. She intends to attend medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a cardiovascular surgeon. Briana initially joined New Haven Reads in 2014 as a book bank volunteer through her internship at the Yale Police Department. She enjoyed her experience at New Haven Reads so much that she decided to come back as an Assistant Site Director. Her all-time favorite book is The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore.





Patty Berrios

Patty Berrios, Kindergarten Camp Teacher

Patty has worked in the New Haven Public Schools district for the past seven years in different capacities, and currently teaches Bilingual Kindergarten at Strong Magnet School. She joined New Haven Reads during summer 2018 and enjoys being part of a program that offers the students a fun experience in conjunction with literacy skills. Teaching is her passion, and there is nothing else Patty would rather do day in and day out than work with amazing children. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University with a BA in Liberal Arts and an Italian Minor.




Veronica Carr, Kindergarten Teacher

Veronica earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Albertus Magnus College and a Master’s degree in Elementary/Early Childhood Education from Southern Connecticut State University. She has been an administrative assistant at Yale University for 25 years. She tutored at John Daniels Elementary School for two years and assisted in the Sunday School at Christian Tabernacle Church in New Haven. Veronica enjoys reading and yoga. She currently tutors and teaches at New Haven Reads.




Audra staff photoAudra Clark, Science Park Site Director

Audra earned a Master of Science degree in Elementary Education from Southern Connecticut State University and also holds a dual teaching certificate in Birth-Kindergarten/Special Education & K-6 instruction. She joined New Haven Reads as a tutor in 2012 prior to entering the New Haven Public Schools system and has returned with a wealth of knowledge from the classroom. In her spare time Audra enjoys travel with friends and family, cooking, music, and writing. Her favorite books include A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and the entire Harry Potter series.





JanelJanel Crite, Finance Director

Janel is a certified public accountant with a Masters of Business Administration degree from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Lynchburg College. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling and running.


Aimee staff photoAimee Curtis-Travaglini, Bristol St. Assistant Site Director

Aimee grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to Connecticut in 2013 to attend the University of New Haven, where she graduated with a bachelors of science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Psychology and two minors. During her senior year, she began interning with New Haven Reads. She loves all things band related and spends her free time playing instruments, gaming with friends, or reading. Her favorite book is Bound Feet & Western Dress: A Memoir by Pang-Mei Chang.





Coralys De Jesus, Dixwell Site Director

Coralys is from Puerto Rico. She graduated from the University of New Haven with a degree in Forensic Psychology. She first came to New Haven Reads in the summer of 2015 as a fellow in the UNH President’s Public Service Fellowship program. After graduating, Coralys would like to potentially pursue degrees in Student Affairs or Public Administration. Her all-time favorite book is Green Eggs and Ham.





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Giana Fazzino, Saturday Site Director 

Giana is from East Haven, CT and first joined New Haven Reads as a First Niagara Summer Intern in 2015. She is a graduate of Albertus Magnus College, and is currently working towards her Master of Social Work at the University of Connecticut. Giana hopes to one day work with children and advocate for educational equity and policy. She enjoys reading, hiking, and running, and her favorite book is Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri.






Tarey Hampton, Pre-K & Kindergarten Teacher

Tarey Hampton earned a B.S in Early Childhood Education from Charter Oak College. She has been employed with the New Haven Board of Education for the past fourteen years. She is currently the head teacher of the school readiness program at Nathan Hale Elementary School. Tarey enjoys working with young children and molding the minds of future leaders.



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Keri Humphries, Outreach Director

Keri Humphries received a B.S. in Psychology from Southern Arkansas University and a Master of Arts in Community Psychology from the University of New Haven. Keri has experience in project coordination, program evaluation and advocacy. She is dedicated to coalition building and community development through Participatory Action Research.





Heather staff photo Heather Kiesling, Dixwell Assistant Site Director

Heather earned a Bachelor of Science in Romance Languages from The University of Georgia. She originally joined New Haven Reads as a tutor before joining our staff. Heather has a passion for reading and is so thrilled to be able to share that passion and help empower young people with literacy.





Jessica staff photo Jessica Markelon, Willow St. Assistant Site Director

Jessica graduated in 2018 from Southern New Hampshire University with a B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Forensics, as well as a minor in Criminal Justice. She spent her first year after high school graduation travelling the country in an RV with her sister, Marissa. She grew up racing motocross, but has always preferred curling up with a good book and coffee. She will read any book that captures her attention, but her favorite book is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.





Hunter Mason, Executive Assistant

Hunter is a candidate for a Bachelors of Political Science at Yale University. Born and raised in Mystic, Connecticut, he there developed a lifelong love of reading and writing on a wide variety of topics. During the summer of 2018, Hunter served as a fellow at New Haven Reads, tutoring, leading several clubs, and providing administrative assistance. He hopes to study law in the future. His favorite book is Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.





Allison Pittman, Pre-K & Kindergarten Program Director

Allison received a B.S. in Psychology and a M.S. in Elementary Education from the University of New Haven. She also holds a K-6 teaching certificate. Allison began working at New Haven Reads in 2011. She loves working with children and helping them build a solid foundation in literacy.





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Kathy Pittman, Kindergarten Teacher’s Aide

Kathy currently works at the University of New Haven in Accounts Payable. Although she enjoys reading a little bit of everything, her favorite author is Nora Roberts. Kathy obtained her Associate’s degree in General Studies from UNH and is from West Haven, CT.







Jocelyn Rayas, Outreach Assistant

Jocelyn Rayas is a recent college graduate from the University of New Haven where she majored in criminal justice and minored in psychology. Jocelyn joined New Haven Reads as an intern during the 2015-2016 year and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA during the 2016-2017 academic year.






Verita Rudd, Pre-K & Kindergarten Teacher 

Verita is a native of New Haven. She has been working for the Board of Education for 18 years and as a Kindergarten teacher for the past 10 years. Before working in education, she worked for a phone company.





V.Sanchez staff photoVictoria Sanchez, Operations Director

Victoria earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Latin American Studies from Yale University. Prior to joining New Haven Reads in January 2016, she worked for a tech start-up in D.C. and a political campaign in Texas, her home state. Her favorite books include milk and honey by rupi kaur and Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle.



Carol staff photoCarol Sarmiento, Willow Street Site Director

Carol has an extensive administrative background, working as an office manager and as a marketing specialist. She brings to New Haven Reads her creative talents as well as her love of books and passion for our literacy program. Carol loves her role here at New Haven Reads as she gets to spend time with our students and see the benefits of our tutoring program.





Cassandra Simmons

Cassandra Simmons, Kindergarten Camp Teacher

Cassandra is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University.  She currently works in New Haven as a paraprofessional and assistant teacher.  She has a great deal of experience in the field of education, including work in a group home for disadvantaged youth and as a reading coach.  She is the mother of two children and enjoys spending time with family, cooking, and of course…READING!  Her favorite quote is “Read to Succeed!”





IMG_0618Raquasia Smith, Development Assistant

Raquasia was born and raised in NYC but migrated to Connecticut in 2015 to study at the University of New Haven, where she majored in Criminal Justice with a Forensic Psychology concentration. During her last semester as an undergraduate, she interned at New Haven Reads and fell in love with the organization. Raquasia is currently working on her M.A. in Community Psychology with a concentration in program development at UNH, and she couldn’t be more thrilled to start her career at New Haven Reads. Her favorite book is A Time to Kill by John Grisham.




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Victoria Smith, Book Bank Director

Victoria is originally from Pennsylvania, and moved to Connecticut in 2014 to attend the University of New Haven. She recently graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Community/Clinical Psychology, and hopes to pursue a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Rehabilitation. Victoria joined New Haven Reads as an intern during her final semester at UNH, and joined the staff as the Book Bank Director after her internship. Her favorite book is The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.




Brittany S. staff photoBrittany Splain, Dixwell Kindergarten Teacher

Brittany attended Quinnipiac University where she obtained her Masters of Arts in Teaching.  She currently teaches second grade in New Haven. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys dancing and traveling.  Her favorite books are the Harry Potter series.




maryann 3Mary-Ann Staggers, Science Park Assistant Site Director & Saturday Assistant Site Director

Mary-Ann originally joined the New Haven Reads team as a First Niagara summer intern and now works as the Assistant Site Director at Science Park. She graduated from Albertus Magnus College with a degree in Psychology and hopes to work for DCF one day. In her free time, she loves painting and other arts-and-crafts projects.



IMG_1274Kascia Williams, Assistant Education Director

Kascia is from Bridgeport, CT. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Political Economy and Diplomacy from the University of Bridgeport in 2014 and recently obtained her Master’s degree in Secondary Education. In addition to working at New Haven Reads, she is also a U.S. History teacher at Common Ground High School in New Haven. In her spare time she enjoys reading, listening to music, and trying to learn other languages. Her favorite book is The Color Purple.


Joann Jo-Ann Williams, Office Manager

Jo-Ann was born and raised in New Haven, CT. She has worked as a nurse’s aide for over 20 years and has two sons who are her world. Jo-Ann’s favorite book is Rhythms by Donna Hill.

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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
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