Community Partner of the Year

Words Alive Awarded Community Partner of the Year by Neighborhood House Association

(Pictured left to right are: Dr. Alfonso Rodriguez - Director of Research and Training, NHA, Carter Anderson - WA Read Aloud Program Manager, Kimberly Maraya - WA Read Aloud volunteer at Miller Head Start, Sharon Gruby - WA Read Aloud volunteer at McGill School of Success and Read Aloud Program co-chair, Terri Hamlin -WA Read Aloud volunteer at McGill School of Success and Read Aloud Program co-chair, Amanda Bonds - WA Senior Program Manager)


Words Alive is honored to be recognized by the Neighborhood House Association as the 2016 Community Partner of the Year! For the past 5 years, Words Alive, our dedicated volunteers and the NHA have worked together to bring quality reading experiences, parent education and book ownership to Head Start families who need it most. We all agree that a strong literacy foundation is a key factor in scholastic success and we look forward to accomplishing more great thing together! 


At Words Alive, we believe that reading is a cornerstone skill and our mission is to open opportunities for success by cultivating a commitment to reading. Since 2011, we have partnered with the Neighborhood House Association and their collaboration sites within the San Diego Unified School District to bring the love of reading to preschool age children from underserved communities across San Diego. Through weekly read aloud sessions led by trained volunteers, parent workshops, lending libraries and book donations, we have worked alongside schools and families to build a culture of reading. The Neighborhood House has been an important partner in this endeavor and has worked with us to continually deepen our impact on literacy readiness among the families who need it most. Below is a snap shot of what we have accomplished together between 2011 and 2015 (the clock is still ticking on the current school year!):


·        Words Alive has donated 20,255 new and gently used books (given to children to build their home libraries and to site to create center-based libraries where families can borrow books from the same place they bring their children each day) .

·        Volunteers have dedicated 1,633 hours to reading aloud with children in the classroom, helping students cultivate a love of stories and wonder about their world.

·        Words Alive staff has led 255 hours of parent education workshops, helping parents to recognize and grow their power as their child’s first teacher.


These efforts have aligned nicely with the NHA’s three year goals to:

·        Engage the whole community in working together to ensure that children are ready for school (school readiness).

·        Develop programs, competencies and linkages that support and promote parent empowerment and self-sufficiency. (Parents – empowerment/Self-Sufficiency)


Other WA volunteers who read at our Head Start locations but were not able to attend NHA’s Volunteer event include; Sharon Gruby, Charlotte Germundson, Tora Grossman, Terri Hamlin, Christy Moore, Charline Meulemans, Kim Maraya, Cynthia Shenkman, Kathy Zybelman, Linda Sorrentino, Valentina Jones-Wagner