Greater Boston Jewish Coalition for Literacy

“Over the course of this year, I have seen students grow in both capacity and confidence with the help of the excellent Ms. Whalen and such help as I can provide. The hour I spend at the Beethoven School is one of the most fulfilling hours of my week.” – Rabbi Van Lanckton

Each volunteer that came into my classroom gave so much to each student that they worked with.  They’re my inspiration!” – Judi Locke, former 2nd grade teacher, Stapleton School

The members of the Jewish Coalition for Literacy practice Tikkun Olam. I have seen the impact they have made to the Ohrenberger school not only in my classroom but throughout the building. There is nothing more joyful than a child connecting with an adult and enjoying learning. Parents here are often working two jobs, so reading with their children is just an impossibility. As a parent and an educator, I know reading with your child is one of the most important ways a child grows.” – Florence Scott-Hiser

“The program is great for me personally, as a former elementary school teacher… Volunteering with children is beneficial to them and rewarding to the individual volunteer.” – Albert Stokar
“GBJCL is one of my most favorite things that I do, and not just through work, but in my life. GBJCL is a stress-management tool for me because it’s a great way to expand my world, have fun, and become more connected to the city I love.” –  Ali Holdway
“…[O]ne of the students whom I tutor is a female first grader…She is Haitian and several languages are spoken in her home, including Creole. She initially had a great deal of difficulty with reading, and was hesitant to read aloud when she was with me. Her reading ability has improved significantly over the course of the year, and she now is eager to read aloud when she is with me.  She has told me about how bad she used to feel, though, when she struggled to read. Her self-confidence has definitely improved recently.” – Susan Fishman

“We get to foster a mentor-student relationship, which also helps to provide the context for a positive reading experience…I recall moments of excitement as my readers made a discovery about a story or a new word; and I recall one very memorable hug from my first student at the end of a profoundly satisfying year.” – Andrew W. Koppel

Over these 20 years – my personal mission has changed, as the curriculum has changed, as the students have changed… the one constant is:  we are all energized and inspired by our “relationships”.  The love and caring the children express when they see us never ceases to endear me. To the students, I am known as “Dancy Nancy,” and it is incredibly gratifying to have the students greet me with a smile, a hug, and a deep breath as they set off on their next task. Their levels of academic achievement increase every month. Having the opportunity to work with these children is a privilege and a delight. Pay it forward. Raise our consciousness, and our aspirations.” – Nancy Krieger