Based on the recommendation of teachers at the Waverly Yowell Elementary School, the MCEF “Everybody Wins” program was selected to receive recognition at the March 9, 2020, Madison County School Board meeting. Everybody Wins pairs community volunteers with 3rd, 4th and 5th graders who have requested inclusion in the program to read and chat together once a week during the students’ lunch break. Our goal is not to teach reading but to generate enthusiasm for reading.
Attending the ceremony were WYES teachers Rebecca Bader and Marty Ward; David Cooper, Chair and volunteer reader for Everybody Wins; Jeannine Leffel and Dera Cooper Everybody Wins volunteer readers, and several students who participate in the program. Mrs. Leffel was joined at the podium by the two young ladies who have been reading with her for the past two years to share their experiences in Everybody Wins. Each student in attendance was given an opportunity to speak about their favorite aspects of the program which included, spending time with the volunteers, meeting new people, reading, and being members of the group. Those who were in the program last year also mentioned their enthusiasm for the field trip to the Green Valley Book Fair and lunch at the Wood Grill Buffet in Harrisonburg.
Rebecca Bader makes her third-grade classroom available on Tuesdays. She is very involved in helping to manage the program and said that she sees the results of the program trickle into other aspects of learning as the children develop an enthusiasm for reading. School Board member and former MCEF Officer, Arthur Greene, Jr., indicated that he believes “Everybody Wins” is the most impactful of the MCEF programs. School Board Chairman, Barry Penn Hollar thanked MCEF and its volunteers for operating the program, saying “the whole community wins”.
The volunteers of Everybody Wins will be quick to tell you that they get as much out of the program as the children do. There are currently 28 volunteers reading to 34 students and there is a waiting list of students who hope to join the program. If you are interested in volunteering, please reach out to David Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org. An application is available at https://madisonedfoundation.org/what-we-do/everybody wins. We would love to have you!