October Newsletter: A Slice of APIE
Quick Bites of APIE: Reading Program 2014-2015
- APIE’s Reading Program is offered in both English and Spanish.
- More than 700 students were served in APIE’s Reading Program.
- Classroom Coaches volunteered in over 40 Austin ISD classrooms.
- Over 300 individuals volunteered as Reading Classroom Coaches.
APIE relies on the generous support of donors to bring our reading program to AISD 2nd graders. This month’s Donor Spotlight focuses on Janet Burner, a longtime APIE volunteer and donor. To join Janet in supporting APIE programs, and for exclusive invites to upcoming donor events, please visit our website.
Name: Janet Burner
Occupation: I have a degree in sociology and worked in social services for 14 years prior to having my children.
Why do you support reading programs in our community?
I think reading skills are crucial for all children to succeed. I was not an avid reader as a child but realized it was crucial when I had children. Reading to my kids and listening to books on tape with them are some of my most cherished moments. I love that APIE gives me the opportunity to help other kids and improve their reading skills.
As an APIE volunteer and donor, what has been your most rewarding experience?
I’ve had so many rewarding experiences volunteering with APIE: walking into the classroom and watching the kiddos’ faces break into a smile when they see me; starting with a student I can barely hear when they are reading in September and having them ask to read first with a strong voice at the end of the year, watching the kids work together and support one another.
What is your favorite book and why is it your favorite?
My favorite book is usually the one I just read. The most recent books I’ve read and loved are “The Lady in Gold,” “Beautiful Ruins,” and “All the Light We Cannot See.”
Kay Alderman has dedicated most of her life to education. She began her teaching career in Houston, TX at Jackson Junior High School. With 18 years of teaching, she expanded her career to higher education and become a professor at Northeastern Illinois University and the University of Akron. After 27 years as a devoted teacher, she retired in 2006 and has been a valued Classroom Coach for the past 6 years.
What is your favorite part about volunteering?
Helping the students to engage in and enjoy reading. The students are eager to take their turns in reading each story.
How has education played a role in your own life and career?
Education has been so important in my life and career. Although the quality of my high school was lacking, what I got was still important. It enabled me to go to college, and then pursue an advanced degree. I have had a satisfying life with a feeling of accomplishment.
Would APIE have benefited you as a student?
I enjoyed school, and APIE activities would have added to that enjoyment and to what I learned in the classrooms.
What has been your proudest moment as an APIE volunteer?
Working with a student across the year and seeing his progress. At the beginning, he was very shy and reluctant to respond. As the year progressed, his responses increased. One story in particular seemed to make him more engaged. By the end of our year, he was fully engaged and asking very good questions.
Classroom Coaching is underway at 11 elementary schools and 5 middle schools! Classroom Coaching transforms entire classrooms into small learning teams. Each Classroom Coach works with the same group of three or fewer students weekly throughout the school year. This allows Coaches and students to bond, boosting the students’ confidence and creating a positive classroom experience for all involved. The students look forward to “APIE day” every week!
Coaches, here are some simple tips to build close, positive, and supportive relationships:
- Learn as much as possible about your students’ interests. Make connections between those interests and each week’s lesson.
- Be patient with students. Bonding with these students may improve their behavior in the classroom.
- Model respectful behavior. Listen, show genuine interest, empathize, treat each student equally, give students time to answer questions, and offer tips or clues to help them answer.
We still have a few volunteer opportunities left this school year! Every child needs a caring adult; that adult could be you.
October is another exciting month for APIE Donors! We had a great time at our first Lunch & Learn with Dr. Meg Moore. You don’t want to miss our next series of speakers featuring Dr. Judy Jennings and Dr. Jane Johnson and don’t forget to RSVP for our first Donor Appreciation & Silent Auction!
Oct. 22 – Donor Appreciation & Silent Auction RSVP
Oct. 28 – Lunch & Learn Speaker Series with Dr. Judy Jennings RSVP
Nov. 16 – Lunch & Learn Speaker Series with Dr. Jane Johnson RSVP
Donors are also invited to our inaugural Donor Appreciation and Silent Auction event on Tuesday, October 22 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Olive and June. This event is our way of showing gratitude to donors whose support makes our work possible. Enjoy delicious food while bidding on exciting auction items, including “Family Night Out” basket, weekend getaway, and more. Know someone who should join the APIE Donor Family? Bring them along, too! APIE staff will be on hand all evening to answer any questions or concerns. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot by Saturday, October 18.
Don’t miss out on our next Lunch & Learn on October 28 with Dr. Judy Jennings where all your questions on curriculum engagement and development will be answered. The event is held from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. at Mitte Carriage House downtown with delicious lunch provided by Schlotzsky’s Deli. Space is limited so please RSVP to email@example.com by Friday, October 23.
Fall Classroom Coaching is up and running. You can still participate in students’ success by making a gift in support of APIE programs by clicking here. Shop on Amazon? Go to smile.amazon.com before your holiday shopping to select Austin Partners In Education as your benefiting charity. Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases directly to APIE!