Volunteer Spotlight: Kevin M.

Years ago, Kevin McCarthy was contacted by a family who needed his help. Their kid had not yet learned to read, and he was struggling.

Kevin immediately agreed to work with the student. He remembers the experience fondly. Smiling, he shared, “by the end of the summer, he was actually able to read — it was quick and encouraging progress.”

After that summer, Kevin realized he wanted to help more students learn to read, and he quickly found himself at New Haven Reads.

Throughout our conversation, Kevin redirected the focus to his students. Instead of discussing his clear talent for getting students to focus, he instead discussed how impressive the students themselves are.

“One of the most impressive things is how dedicated these students are. You are working with kids for whom this does not come easy, they are sometimes below grade level. If I was a six year old, could I focus on this at all? Probably not. But my students are dedicated — they’re always trying to focus,” Kevin noted.

His students continually bring him joy, and that’s part of what he loves about tutoring. Along with this joy, they also show him an entirely new perspective. Kevin thought back to a 5th grade student whom he used to work with, sharing that “He was a decent reader and a particularly kind-hearted kid, and being a jaded old man, being able to experience that and being able to see the world through the eyes of someone who is fifty or sixty years younger than me is really something.”

Years later, his tutoring sessions are still filled with surprises and excitement. “There was one girl I was tutoring who loved the play time at the end,” Kevin explained. “The reason was that she would consistently beat me at four square — she knew she could beat me at it, and she just loved that.”

Thank you for your kindness and dedication to our students, Kevin!