45 Bristol Street, New Haven, CT 06511 information@newhavenreads.org 203-752-1923
Volunteer

Meet one of our students: Andrew

Every Tuesday and Thursday, Andrew excitedly logs into the Zoom tutoring session, oftentimes arriving ten minutes early. He lights the room up with a smile, and as tutors and students start trickling in, he excitedly
asks, “How is everyone’s day going?” He starts up brief conversations with a tutor — or sometimes a few different tutors at once — as he waits for the session to begin.

When he gets into the session, he is just as energetic and upbeat. Gene Kirsten, Andrew’s tutor, cherishes their time together. “He’s very bright, and his mind races in such a great way!” Gene shared. When Andrew plays Fast Find on Lexia, he does not just choose the right word as it quickly falls down the computer screen. Instead, Gene explained, “He challenges himself to quickly select the right word, and then to use it in a unique sentence, all before the next word appears.”

But Gene feels that discussing his diligence and studiousness is just scratching the surface. Above all, “He brings a lot of brightness to our sessions. He likes to help people — he is very accommodating, and he
likes to make everyone’s day a little better,” Gene said.

Reflecting on Andrew’s precocious nature, Carol Sarmiento, the Site Director at the Willow Street location, remembered a session from a few months ago. Andrew logged in a few minutes early, but he still was upset
he was not earlier. “Mom, I’m late! I’m late! I didn’t make it to New Haven Reads!” Andrew shouted. He calmed down immediately after realizing he was still on time. That moment, however, clearly displayed
his punctuality, consistency, and dedication to the program. “He’s always here on time, ready — and excited — to learn. He’s making progress everyday, while also bringing so much joy to our entire
program, students, tutors, and staff alike,” Carol remarked.