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Russell Supports youth literacy through read united qc

Russell team members are delighted to be back in the classroom for year two of United Way Quad Cities’ Read United QC program!

Read United QC is a volunteer-led literacy program aimed to close the gaps in youth literacy that were exasperated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, only 30% of Quad Cities third graders can read proficiently. A staggering statistic considering that reading proficiency is one of the greatest predictors of a child’s success in school and beyond. Students who participate in the Read United program improve their listening and vocabulary skills, learn reading is fun, and become more confident overall. In fact, 92% of students who participated in the program last year improved their reading skills!

Volunteers, including 17 Russell team members, were matched with pre-kindergarten through third-grade students at the beginning of the school year for weekly 30-minute, one-on-one reading sessions. 

Each week, our “Russell Readers” meet their students at Paul Norton Elementary School to spend time talking and reading together. Russell takes a team-oriented approach to volunteering by going to the elementary school as a group. Once at the school, each of the volunteers gather their teacher-assigned basket of materials and their student, then the group heads to the cafeteria where they spread out at different tables to read, ask questions, and interact.

One of Russell’s internal leaders of the Read United QC initiative, Beth Beverlin, said, “We are thrilled to be participating again this year. A little bit of time makes a huge impact in the lives and education of local students.”

“It’s extremely rewarding to build a genuine and impactful relationship with your student. Getting to connect one-on-one on a weekly basis allows you to build a rapport with the student and not only help them develop reading skills, but also relationship skills. Russell has a long history of making an impact in the community by participating and volunteering at different events throughout the year. Being a part of this program is a way for us to express our appreciation for local educators and how hard they work to teach the future generation,” added Beverlin.

We are proud of this year’s “Russell Readers” for exemplifying two our Russell’s core values – Community and Appreciating People! 

2022 Russell Readers:

  • Beth Beverlin
  • Jamie Calvert
  • Jill Meyer
  • Carrie Peet
  • Grace Gundlach
  • Amanda Skriloff
  • Tom Hepner
  • Jen Smith
  • Kim Moeller
  • Jen O’Neil
  • Lucas Boyle
  • Sara Clark
  • Erin Marsh
  • Erron Vandermore
  • Alec Jensen
  • Abby Winfree
  • Anita Hocker