Over the years, we have had so many incredible events! From bringing our scholars to Temple events to having Teen Volunteers plan and lead parties for scholars to showing appreciation for our donors, we have always enjoyed bringing our Wise Readers to Leaders community together in different ways!

WRTL Winter Celebration December 5, 2023

We loved seeing so many scholars and their families in person at our Winter Celebration planned by our amazing WRTL Teen Board. More than 50 families and 30 WRTL Teen Board and Ambassador volunteers enjoyed holiday crafting, games, prizes, a snow globe project led by the UCLA Little Librarians club and more! Scholars got to take home some incredible books, thanks to generous book donations from the the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation and thanks to Jon and Susan Berger for their donations of backpacks and school supplies.

WRTL Families at Wise Temple Purim Carnival, March 5, 2023

Wise Temple invited our WRTL scholar community to their annual Purim Carnival! Our scholars, their families, and our incredible WRTL Tikkun Olam Corps high school volunteers had a fantastic time riding carnival rides, the ferris wheel, playing games, and sharing breakfast and lunch together! Thanks to the continued generosity of the Ella Fitzgerald Foundation, we also donated over 300 books to our scholars at the carnival!

Halloween Party- October 23, 2022

Our amazing WRTL Teen Board and Teen Ambassadors helped uplift our entire WRTL community at our Halloween Party! It was a blast! Over 45 Scholars and their families had a great time participating in creative art projects, making slime with the Little Librarians Club from UCLA, listening to stories told by our teen volunteers, getting lost in a corn maze, picking out donated books to take home and much more! We are so excited to keep building and growing our WRTL scholar community!

Visiting the Gentle Barn – February 26, 2022

On Saturday, February 26th, we went to the Gentle Barn and got to meet different farm animals like pigs, cows, chickens, and more! It was gentle fun!

Holiday Party – December 11, 2021

Our annual Holiday Party was so much fun! Scholars got to participate in tractor rides, holiday arts and crafts, pictures with Santa, and more!

Halloween Party – October 24, 2021

It was so great seeing everyone back for our first in-person event after a whole year of virtual events! The Teen Board and Ambassadors led scholars through games and activities like pumpkin decorating, craft ghosts, bowling, cookie spiders and more!

Scholars also got to enjoy jumping in the bounce house and petting the goats, sheep, ducks, chickens, and bunnies at the petting zoo 🙂

Virtual Earth Day STEM Party – April 17, 2021

We had a great time seeing our scholars on Zoom for a Valentine’s Day Party! We made heart shaped animals, candy grams, and more! Scholars got to take him a bunch of books and a plushy Mask-N-Pals 🙂

Virtual Valentine’s Day Party – February 6, 2020

We had a great time seeing our scholars on Zoom for a Valentine’s Day Party! We made heart shaped animals, candy grams, and more! Scholars got to take him a bunch of books and a plushy Mask-N-Pals 🙂

Virtual Holiday Party – December 12, 2020

Our Virtual Holiday Party was so much fun 🙂 We made ornaments, a menorah, Holiday Cards, and more!

Virtual Halloween Party – October 24, 2020

For the first time ever we had our Halloween Party virtually, but it was still so much fun 🙂 Scholars got to pick up their mystery bags to use during the party, which included candy, stickers, toys, activities, and more! We ended our event with a costume contest where scholars got to show off their most spooky and creative costumes.

Drag Bingo Night – September 23, 2020

It was so great seeing everyone come together for Virtual Drag Bingo. We played 4 competitive games and the winners got to take home prizes! We also had a live auction where we got to bid on wine and food packages. It was a great time and we look forward to the next event!

Annual Wine Event – August 6, 2020

Our Annual Wine Event looked a little different this year, but it was still a great opportunity to come together and celebrate the end of another amazing summer! Wine and paired hors d’oeuvres, provided by Hillcrest Country Club, were delivered to all the participants’ homes and everyone came together on Zoom to enjoy! A chef and sommelier spoke about the different wine selections and pairings. It was an amazing way to show our appreciation for many of our amazing donors.

Purim Carnival – March 8, 2020

On Sunday, March 8th, scholars and families from Wise Readers to Leaders were thrilled to be invited to Stephen Wise Temple’s Purim Carnival! It was a day full of arcade games, carnival rides, prizes, costumes, delicious food, and more! It was an amazing opportunity for the Wise Readers to Leaders and Wise Temple communities to come together. Thank you so much to the generous families of Stephen Wise Temple for sponsoring our scholars to come to this incredible event!

Literacy Event – January 11, 2020

On January 11th from 10 am to 12 pm, Wise Readers to Leaders will be hosting a literacy event at the Cayton’s Children Museum in Santa Monica.

Join Us for a Conversation with the Authors of How to Raise a Reader, a new book providing helpful insights on how to engage your child in reading, while your children have the opportunity to explore the brand new interactive and engaging Cayton Children’s Museum.

While the museum is appropriate for all elementary school aged students, it is geared toward younger students aged preschool to 3rd grade.

If you are interested in attending this event, please email us at [email protected] for more information!

Holiday Party – December 14, 2019

Saturday, December 14th 

3 pm – 5 pm

Holiday Party!

An annual Wise Readers to Leaders tradition, this year’s Holiday Party was an amazing opportunity for our Teen Volunteers to catch up with our scholars. About 150 scholars and parents joined 30 teen volunteers and former teachers to celebrate the holiday season. This event was planned and executed by our Teen Board! We had:

  • a penguin themed Snacktivity
  • holiday snacks & treats
  • a festive photo booth
  • holiday goodie bags for scholars filled with pencils, candy canes, stickers, toys, and more!
  • ornament making
  • holiday-themed coloring
  • pin the nose on Rudolph
  • and more!

Pumpkin Patch – October 26, 2019

Saturday, October 26th

Pumpkin Patch Event!

Our scholars, teen volunteers, and staff all came together for a morning of picking pumpkins, exploring the straw maze, jumping in bouncers, feeding animals in the petting zoo, rock climbing, carnival games, pony rides, and more!

Last Day of Summer 2019

August 2, 2019

The last day of summer is emotional each and every year, but it is one of our scholars’ favorite days. We bring in bouncers, water slides, snow cones, face paint, pizza, and more. At the end of the day, we give out backpacks, notebooks, planners, pencil cases, and more to prepare our scholars for the school year ahead. As our scholars get on the bus for the final time for the summer, many tears are shed.

Underwood Family Farms Field Trip 2019

July 26, 2019

On July 26th we all took a field trip to Underwood Family Farms in Moorpark, California. We started the day off with a lesson on fruits and vegetables from Farmer Juan. Then we loaded into wagons to head over to the strawberry fields. We helped our scholars carefully pick a basket full of strawberries that they all got to eat and take home! Then we got to watch an animal show full of birds, pigs, and ponies. After that, scholars got the chance to feed many of the farm animals. It was one of the most memorable and fun days of the summer!

Impact Day 2018

November 4, 2018

For our Impact Day 2018 we had a morning of campus beautification at Stanley Mosk Elementary. This event was generously sponsored by the Leigh family. 

Article in the Jewish Journal 2018

Turning Readers into Leaders – July 12, 2018

JEWISH JOURNAL | It’s summertime and the school bells are no longer ringing, but more than 400 students from Title I schools continue to board school buses. All over Los Angeles, kindergartners through eighth-graders hop out of those buses onto the grounds of several Jewish institutions, and they’re all greeted with enthusiastic cheers. They’re served breakfast, followed by a “Reading Rally” featuring cheers, chants, a read-aloud session and a visit by a community guest. Welcome to a typical morning in the Wise Readers to Leaders (WRTL) Summer Literacy and Enrichment Program. Click here to continue reading article.

First Day of Summer 2018

June 25, 2018

In 2018, we served 400 scholars from Kindergarten through 9th grade, and had some of our returning high-schoolers working as bus monitors and classroom aids. We also opened a new campus! Thanks to Wilshire Boulevard Temple, we are now able to reach more kids in a new and high-need area of Los Angeles. Our scholars benefited from the innovative curriculum created and implemented by our team of Education Directors.

Impact Day 2018

May 11, 2018

Thanks to a partnership with Lionsgate Entertainment, we were able to complete several campus beautification projects at one of our partner LAUSD elementary schools on Impact Day 2018. We painted an outdoor mural, did a garden makeover, cleaned the library, painted an indoor mural, and facilitated STEAM activities along with a donated cart from Two Bit Circus. We were so thankful for all the volunteers who helped make it all happen!

Spring Event 2018

March 10, 2018

Over 100 scholars and families joined us for a cross-cultural celebration of Passover and Easter in Spring 2018. Scholars, parents, and teen volunteers partook in hands-on activities that taught about the traditions and history of Passover. Scholars were able to participate in a fun Easter egg hunt to top it all off! Our teen volunteers planned all of the activities and did an amazing job leading the day!

Annual Event 2018

March 7, 2018

In 2018, we had one of our best donor events ever, with an outstanding silent auction, teen volunteer and middle school scholar speakers, and generous donations from our loyal supporters. Four star teen volunteer Junior Literacy Leaders were honored with Teen Volunteer of the Year awards – thank you Gwen Strasberg, Maddy Glick, Kyle Reims, and Josh Bronte! Thank you to all who were able to join us, your support means the world to us and our scholars!

Holiday Party 2017

December 2, 2017

Over 200 scholars, parents, and volunteers joined us at our 2017 Holiday Party! It was a fun-filled day of book wrapping, ornament making, games, a photo booth, holiday music, cookie decorating, clay snowman creations, and more. We couldn’t have asked for a better way to close out another year with our WRTL community!

Mitzvah Day 2017

November 5, 2017

In 2017, Wise Readers to Leaders hosted a satellite Mitzvah Day in the community of many of our scholars at the Reseda Recreation Center. Scholars, families, and WRTL volunteers all came together to create place mats, holiday cards, and gift bags in partnership with Meals on Wheels. They also made Stars of Hope to be sent to Syria in the Wise packages. Parents had the opportunity to speak with Bet Tzedek community lawyer Casey Raymond about workers’ rights and engage in dialogue about how to secure minimum wage and navigate larger employment systems. It was a very successful day of giving back and engaging the WRTL community!

Interfaith Vigil 2017

October 16, 2017

Our teen volunteers (Junior Literacy Leaders) presented alongside clergy from 25 of Los Angeles’ institutions about prayers of healing and inspiration at the Interfaith Vigil at Stephen S. Wise Temple. The evening was full of songs and hopeful words to remind participants of the highest values that hold us together as a community and a nation in these challenging times: compassion (חסד), justice (צדק), and mutual respect (כבוד).

Remote Reading Launch 2017

September 19, 2017

In 2017 we launched our first year-round program, Remote Reading! In the Remote Reading program, our teen volunteers read on the phone with one of our K-5 scholars for thirty minutes each week! They help build literacy skills, ask comprehension questions, and form close bonds with scholars! Every year since, Remote Reading has expanded and grown!  Learn more about Remote Reading here!

Wise Readers to Leaders in the News 2017

August 24, 2017

Wise Readers to Leaders was a proud recipient of a $250,000 Cutting Edge Grant from the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles.

Rock the Clock Fundraiser 2017

August 2, 2017

Our second annual Rock the Clock campaign went off in full swing this summer. Our 5-8th grade scholars were able to volunteer to help make calls to our community of supporters to fundraise for our programming. Scholars had a blast making calls and getting to personally explain to people the positive impact that WRTL has on their lives. Thanks to the hard work of scholars and staff, plus the matching donations of our generous partners, we raised $70,000!

Parent Workshops 2017

Summer 2017

Throughout the summer, Wise Readers holds Parent Workshops to bring our scholars’ parents into the learning that takes place during our program. In 2017, we had a professional chef do an interactive demonstration on nutrition and healthy cooking, a lawyer discuss immigration policy and recent changes, an advocate for immigrant rights do a hands-on demo to prepare emergency documents with families, and a staff-led evening of STEM-oriented games. Each year we hold different workshops, encouraging parents to be involved in fostering a love for literacy! Find out more here!

Career Fair 2017

July 26, 2017

In 2017, Wise Readers to Leaders’ Middle School Site held the first of many Career Days! The generous people who volunteered their time included an advertising creative at Google, a doctor, a policeman, a professional bassoon player, an actress, the diversity coordinator at UCB, an army veteran, a teacher, a social worker, and a business entrepreneur. Scholars asked so many questions and learned about a wide array of different career opportunities. This has become a yearly event at Wise Readers Middle School! Email [email protected] if you want to volunteer at our next Career Day!

Surf Day 2017

July 18, 2017

In Summer 2016, our middle schoolers went surfing for the first time! Since then, surfing has become an annual middle school tradition! Thanks to a generous donation from Marjorie Nielsen, all of our middle school scholars were able to get surf lessons with Go Surf LA. Several of our scholars had never even been to the beach before, let alone surfed! Year after year, Surf day is always full of new experiences and adventures!

Play It Forward 2016

Summer 2016

ABC News visited our Wise Campus to film our Scholars receiving brand new sports equipment thanks to a generous grant from an organization founded by a high school student who wanted to make our city a better place!

Donor Appreciation Event 2016

Spring 2016

We celebrated 2016’s success and thanked our incredible donors at the lovely home of Glenn and Andrea Sonnenberg. Alex Johnson, Executive Director of CDF California, spoke to the group about the impact the program has in aiding underserved children as we work together to shrink the widening achievement gap. Vanessa Keushkerian, Andie Gilder, and Matthew Bahar were awarded the Teen Volunteers of the Year.

Portraits of Hope 2016

Summer 2016

Wise Readers to Leaders visited Portraits of Hope in 2016 on one of several field trips. Portraits of Hope, was originally developed for seriously ill and physically disabled children. It conceives and develops one-of-a-kind motivational art projects that merge the production of dynamic public art works with creative therapy for hospitalized children and civic education for students of all ages. Our scholars helped to paint floral disks that were installed in Animal Shelters across Los Angeles, helping to beautify these spaces!