Intern Spotlight: Lizz Ladd

Name: Lizz Ladd
Hometown: West Hartford, CT
College and Major: Loyola Marymount University, BA Recording Arts
Tutor Site: Willow
Clubs: Math Club, Performing Arts Club
Favorite Childhood Book: Good Dog, Carl

I first learned about New Haven Reads during a gap year serving with AmeriCorps. I came to the book bank to get books for the school I was serving at and I fell in love with the work of New Haven Reads. When I heard about the internship program, I knew that I wanted to be involved.

Interning this summer has taught me about youth and education through a nonprofit lens.
I’ve learned about the many ways that New Haven Reads supports the community and shares the joy and power of reading. I love how New Haven Reads is student-centered and that each staff member is committed to doing everything possible to ensure that the kids receive an excellent literacy education and receive the support that they need to be successful readers. It’s incredible how dedicated they are to serving the New Haven community.

One program that I’ve become involved in is the math club. A staff member was telling me that a few summers ago, parents were asking for math support for their kids in addition to literacy support. Since New Haven Reads is always looking for ways to better serve families, the interns were asked to facilitate summer math programing. Twice a week, my volunteer helpers and I meet with students ranging from 2nd grade to 7th grade and work with them on different math skills. It has been a great experience to help students feel confident solving math problems and a great way to reinforce our students’ math skills before they return to school in the fall.

I’ll never forget the first student I tutored here. When my student, a little first grader,
arrived at Willow, I learned that it was her first time here. She was a little shy at first, but once
we got into our tutoring hour she began to loosen up more. About halfway through our session,
she turned to me and said, “I love this place!” My heart melted!

I’m so grateful to KeyBank for the opportunity to be a part of New Haven Reads this summer and work with such incredible students. Thanks to this opportunity, I have been offered the position of Assistant Site Director at Willow following the end of the internship program. I’m so excited that this internship brought me to New Haven Reads and that I have the opportunity to continue supporting this wonderful organization and their students moving forward.