Our Stories 2018-01-23T20:46:51+00:00

Our Stories

  A REFLECTION ON SUMMER – Alexandra Bailey

I came into my second summer as a Literacy Leader with much more confidence than in my first.  I was determined to have a well-structured and fun class, and to apply all the new information I learned at staff training to my interactions with my scholars.  However, my confidence was quickly shaken by my experience with one particular scholar.  This scholar was very prone to breakdowns, and would not read or do activities with the class.  I struggled in the beginning of the summer to get him to join the reading circle, and to calm him down once something had upset him.  I became frustrated, feeling like he was not learning anything.

CONTINUE READING

AN ODE TO LITERACY LEADERS – Olivia LaViolette
Starting my first summer with Wise Readers to Leaders as Program Manager gave me a bird’s eye view of all three campuses. I had the privilege of dropping by each site throughout the six weeks to absorb the unique energy and the little world that they had each created unto themselves. Every classroom operated as its own embodiment of the program – a manifestation of what it truly meant to get our scholars to sit, listen, and focus, all together. Not an easy task, especially over summer vacation, but the Literacy Leaders consistently emboldened and harvested the ideas of our young learners.
CONTINUE READING
   COLLEGE ESSAY – Chloe Farhadi                                                                                                  Alex* showed up to Wise Readers to Leaders with his Vans duct taped together, big toe jutting out through the rubber. The shoes had been passed down from Oldest Brother to Older Brother to Alex, and now even he had outgrown them. When his dad found a new job, he promised to buy Alex FOUR new pairs of shoes. But for now, there was that toe, like some tiny burrowing animal suddenly exposed to light. I couldn’t stop staring at it. When Alex noticed my face, he wasn’t upset, or embarrassed, or even shy. He leapt onto me and smothered me in a hug. An 8 year old, comforting me because his parents couldn’t afford to buy him shoes.

CONTINUE READING

REMOTE READING PROGRAM REMOTE READING PROGRAM
Everyday Tuesday at 7 pm, my face lights up. I get to pick up the phone call my “remote reader”, a lovable, charming, and caring seven year old boy who I had the privilege of meeting this past summer at Wise Readers to Leaders. Once a week, I step out of my worries of everyday life, and listen and help my friend become a better reader.
CONTINUE READING
FINDING HER PATH WITH WISE READERS TO LEADERS — Aly Kaufman
Aly Kaufman’s eyes light up as she tells me about working with her students. Over the past year, Aly has devoted hundreds of hours volunteering as a teacher’s aide at Stanley Mosk Elementary in Winnetka and the Wise School in Los Angeles. Reflecting on her time with the students, Aly said, “I like helping them learn. It puts a smile on their face.” Just talking about the kids puts a smile on hers. However, Aly’s professional life has not always been so rewarding.
CONTINUE READING
GIVING AND GROWING TOGETHER GIVING AND GROWING TOGETHER — The Berger Family
For the past three years, our daughter Carly has worked as a Junior Literacy Leader and is on the Junior Board of Wise Readers to Leaders. She passionately delved in to the program from its very inception, immediately understanding the importance of the program and the impact that it has on everyone associated with it. Her enthusiasm has been most contagious. Our entire family caught the WRTL Spirit and this past summer, our older daughter,…
CONTINUE READING
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP — Ellie Stern
After intense, exhausting and INSPIRING training sessions in Tennessee, one might think the hardest part about being a Junior Literacy Leader (JLL) at Wise Readers to Leaders would be keeping up constant energy during Reading Rally and the integrated reading curriculum while somehow not losing your voice, but in reality, the most difficult part is saying goodbye to your scholars. During my second summer as a JLL, a scholar and I formed a relationship…
CONTINUE READING
LEADING BY EXAMPLE: WORDS FROM GIOVANNI SOTO LEADING BY EXAMPLE — GIOVANNI SOTO
Giving back has always been a major belief in my life largely because I know how it feels to come from an underprivileged and under-resourced community. In my family, I am the oldest child and the first to attend a four-year university. I was raised in a single parent house-hold by a mother who suffers from a severe case of polio and has a very limited education. Poverty has always been a reoccurring theme in my life, however I was fortunate enough to find teachers,…
CONTINUE READING
WISE FREEDOM SCHOOL PARTNERS - HOW IT ALL BEGANW  WISE READERS TO LEADERS – HOW IT ALL BEGAN — Andrea Sonnenberg
After practicing law for many years and having children of my own, I realized my true calling was to help children. I began by leading my daughter’s Girl Scout troop for many years, which then led to my involvement with the inner city Charter School, Para Los Ninos, where I sat on its Advisory Board supporting its development and programming. I began to use my legal skills to help unaccompanied child immigrants escaping abuse and neglect in their country of origin gain legal residency.
CONTINUE READING