Why we’re thankful

With writing contributed by Albertus Magnus student and fall 2019 New Haven Reads intern Jesse McIntosh.

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.” – Oprah Winfrey

Gratitude is an everyday feeling at New Haven Reads, where our programs exist to support the community and succeed because the community supports us, too. 

In the spirit of the season, we’ve made a list of the reasons we’re thankful. Let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments!

NHR families

Everyone who enrolls a student at NHR has made a commitment to the growth and potential of their children as young readers. Beyond wanting the best for their students, our families commit to weekly sessions, reports, regulations—and it’s worth it, because we get results, working together.

We are thankful to NHR families for trusting us to help their children learn to read. Parents and guardians make sure their children walk through our doors every day, let us know when they can’t, and do everything in their power to support their children at home. They also keep our team apprised of what’s happening at school so we can provide the best resources and guidance. Our families are true teammates, with the shared vision of helping each child grow to their full potential.

NHR tutors and volunteers

Our volunteer tutors are community members who believe in the joy and power of reading, and have chosen to invest their time each week helping a child become a stronger reader. Our tutors also empower students through positive example and guidance. 

When they tutor, our volunteers use a research-based approach to building literacy skills which they’ve learned in mandatory training. They go above and beyond to support our students, from workbook pages and reading together, to competitive games of Uno and Connect 4 during choice time. We couldn’t do our work without them, and they enrich our students lives, hour after hour.

NHR staff

Maybe we’re biased, but our team is comprised of some of the hardest-working, kindest-hearted, and most committed-to-our-kids folks we know. Their dedication to bright, young readers is what makes our work soar. 

Our staff are experts: in literacy-building, nurturing meaningful relationships with families and students, and supporting children on their unique paths to reading. When tutors are unavailable, our staff steps in. They make sure the string cheese is stocked. They slice apples as needed, too. They track schedules, report cards, progress in school, progress at NHR, and everything in between—for dozens and dozens of kids. And they keep programs fun for all, every day.

NHR Supporters

There is no shortage of ways to support New Haven Reads, and we’re grateful there is no shortage of generous individuals who choose to donate books, money, time, and energy to keep our programs as strong as ever!

Our donors understand that NHR exists to meet a pressing community need and invest in the future when they invest in our work. Whether you’ve brought some gently-used books to our Bristol Street Book Bank, attended an event, shared a social media post, or contributed to our annual appeal, you’ve truly made a difference in the life of a child. You’ve also written yourself into the NHR story. Read more here about the impact you’ve helped us achieve.

NHR community partners

The majority of our students come to us from Greater New Haven and Hamden, where community partnership makes our work possible. We are so grateful to our committed board of directors for their guidance and support; our year-long community business partners like Claire’s Corner Copia, and The Study at Yale; peer nonprofits that champion our work; and the city officials and institutions that believe in our mission.

There are endless examples, and our recent Spelling Bee is a fantastic one. It was a true community event, held at Yale, hosted by top WTNH anchors, judged by a committee of city officials, and sponsored by 17 local businesses, individuals, and organizations. The outcome was $34,000 raised on a night that was fun, memorable, and open to everyone.

NHR students

Last but definitely not least, we are thankful for the students who inspire everything we do! Our students are the reason that families show up, community members volunteer, and partners stand with us. And teaching them to read is fun, gratifying, meaningful work.

Kirsten recently wrote about one student, who she tutors: 

“It’s an honor to guide Graciela on her journey to literacy, and to have seen my former two students grow over time, not just into readers but into bright young learners on the path to success. Our lives change together through the time we spend in books. I hope you’ll join me and volunteer to work with a child today.”

Our students enrich the lives of our volunteers and staff, and inspire us by showing up excited for what they’re going to learn each day. It’s not always easy work, but our students make a commitment to themselves to try their best, knowing they’re in a warm and caring environment. We look forward to seeing them, and they look forward to seeing us:  it’s not uncommon for students to dash in, ready to say hello and get reading, and to leave still chatting with their tutor. 

To be able to read is an essential skill that everyone deserves the chance to develop. Today and every day, we’re thankful for the generous community that makes our work possible.

From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!