Volunteer Spotlight: Lynne K.

Lynne Krupa had been volunteering with a local literacy nonprofit for years, and she loved every minute of it. However, those volunteer hours were missing something that she felt was extremely important: direct interactions with children. One of her friends, a longtime New Haven Reads tutor, always talked about how much she cherished the personal interactions she had at New Haven Reads each week. Finally, in the Spring of 2016 amid the opening of the Willow Street site, Lynne decided it was the perfect time to try it out.

Now, she couldn’t be happier with her decision. “I love to read. I’ve been in a book club for 25 years. To be able to share the love of reading and to help students find that on their own is a wonderful thing,” Lynne explained.

Even the COVID-19 pandemic has not dampened her passion for tutoring. Lynne tutors weekly through Zoom, which she described as a fairly easy transition.

“The distance learning program is actually really nice,” Lynne explained. “There are a few minutes before we are sent to our rooms where we can see Carol and Jess and the other tutors and students, just to say hello and to check in.”

“You have to get more creative sometimes,” she admitted. “But my student and I still have a great connection.”

Oftentimes, distance learning provides some unique, exciting experiences. One of Lynne’s students always talks about her dog, Bella, and during one of the distance learning sessions, her student was able to call Bella over to the camera and finally introduce her to Lynne.

After finishing her stories — covering Hamden, Zoom, Bella, and more — Lynne ended the conversation with a message for others: “I want to encourage people to tutor if they are considering it; you can be part of something that is being used to better all of our children. It can really help someone. And I could be having the worst day ever, and I walk into New Haven Reads and my mood instantly changes. To be able to help students is a pleasure for everyone.”

We at New Haven Reads are so thankful for the time and energy Lynne has dedicated to our organization and our students over the years!