What is CY Reads?
CY Reads is an initiative to meaningfully engage students during the pandemic when they are really struggling with disengagement. City Year New Hampshire will bring together enriching content through selected books, diverse readers and exciting presentations, and multi-lingual recordings to help promote student engagement.
Viewing and engaging with read-aloud videos will be facilitated by City Year AmeriCorps members who already have existing relationships and have been supporting student engagement and learning since the beginning of the school year. The CY Reads experience creates a space where students can connect and find belonging alongside their peers, hear and read stories representative of their backgrounds, and grow in literacy skills.
How can I get involved?
1. Sponsor CY Reads – Your company can sponsor your very own reader - an employee representative or your own celebrity. Sponsorships are available from $1,000 to $10,000 and each level provides various unique benefits.
2. Become a CY Guest Reader – Sign up to be a reader (or nominate someone awesome) and reach out to your network to support your read-aloud experience. Suggested minimum fundraising goal of $1,000 (community member), $500 (alumni/young professional), $250 (student).
3. Donate to CY Reads – Support our readers and City Year's work to bring these inspiring role models and stories to our students.
Irene A. Buchine
Irene A. Buchine | Local Author
"When City Year invited me to be a featured reader for their fundraiser, I responded with an immediate “Yes”. City Year is at work 24/7 helping children struggling with the unimaginable challenges of today to become happy, successful and fulfilled. I struggled to learn as a child. Handicapped by an undiagnosed learning disability, I faltered through school feeling helpless and alone. While my friends graduated high school and went on to fulfill their visions of the future, I was left feeling lost by the weight and humiliation of failure. Yet, here I am today. I am proud to be an example of what belief in one’s self, hope and determination can achieve, even when the way forward seems insurmountable. My book, Celia and the Little Boy, tells a story of darkness, struggle and hope. I’m honored to be a part of City Year’s pursuit."- Irene Buchine
Russell Muirhead | Robert Clements Professor of Democracy and Politics at Dartmouth College
“Excited to read a book called Whoosh, about the inventor and scientist Lonnie Johnson. Lonnie invented all sorts of things as a kid and went to college at the Tuskegee Institute, the famous, historically-black university in Alabama, the state Lonnie was from. After school, he became a rocket scientist for NASA. And among the things he invented is the “super soaker,” the most powerful water gun on the planet. His is an inspiring story. And it’s real. It makes you think differently about your own life, which is why I’m excited to share it with City Year Reads.”- Russell Muirhead
Benjamin Pasley | Bookery General Manager
"I said yes to being a featured reader because I believe in giving back and that literature and literacy is huge and to be able to give back by reading would mean the world to me."-Benjamin Pasley
Michael Sydney | Vice President / Owner of Merchant Fleet
"I learned to read at an early age and that allowed me to explore the world through the written word. I now have 10 grandchildren and have been able to help them practice and learn to read, we’ve read books that I read to their parents when they were the same age. Being able to read is an important skill, I hope from my reading that I create the same excitement that I’ve imparted to my children & grandchildren." - Michael Sydney
Lucia Montas | Lecturer (Spanish), Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at UNH
"The reason I signed up for CY Reads is that I believe that reading has a profound effect on language learning and identity and can help connect people of diverse communities to their culture. I look forward to engaging with people through my read-aloud video especially reading in Spanish!" - Lucia Montas
Amelia Shubert | City Year New Hampshire Alum '18,'19 and Early Childhood Teacher at Breakwater Learning
"It was my proudest moment to be able to serve with CYNH from 2017 to 2019, first as a AmeriCorps Mentor/Support Coach and then as an Impact VISTA. I really enjoyed being able to be a part of the Manchester community and to get to teach and support the children." -Amelia Shubert
Emerald Anderson-Ford | City Year New Hampshire Alum '09,'10 and Equity Specialist at City Year
"Literacy leads to liberation- and that is my life goal for all people. Having the opportunity to promote liberation through literacy for children is exciting and I am hoping that you all will find it worthwhile to support me in this journey. Reach out if you have any questions or other ways to get involved." - Emerald Anderson- Ford
Joan Reische | Community Volunteer
"For about 20 years, I’ve been a volunteer at Wilson and then Webster School visiting with ESL students. Reading to and with the students has been tremendously fun and rewarding. It’s always exciting to see children react to the words, the pictures, the meaning of a good book. Especially children for whom English is a new and challenging language. I’m excited to share a good read with City Year children, particularly this year!" - Joan Reische
Kenneth Clark | Retired Major General for National Guard
I spent over ten years on the City Year board and have personally observed the impact that young Corps members can have on the lives of Manchester's youth. Before the pandemic we sponsored a Gala that recognized a community member or group that was exemplary in supporting the mission of keeping kids in school all the way to graduation. Let's step up and help make a difference now!!
Dr. Steven Paris | Retired Pediatrician from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
"I enthusiastically support the CY Reads program. City Year's foundational goal is to give their students the best chance to succeed in school for future lifetime benefits. Anything that we can do to support and encourage students to read will afford them the greatest chance for success." - Dr. Steven Paris
Emily Kerr | Multilingual Learner Support Coordinator at UNH Manchester
"Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved reading. My mom ran a library book mobile and sometimes took me on trips to deliver books to people who could not come to the library. It was an amazing experience to meet different people and to make connections through books. Some of my favorite memories involve books: going to the library with my grandparents, curling up with my nose in a good story, learning about new discoveries, and reading with my own children and students. Books have opened my eyes to new places, people, languages, and ideas and continue to spark my curiosity. I’m excited to be part of City Year Reads and hope these videos will spark curiosity in others!"- Emily Kerr
Kate Vaughn | Claims Manager at RiverStone Resources
Jason Whitehead | City Year New Hampshire Alum '05, '06 and in Sales at McMaster Carr
"I treasure the time I spent with City Year New Hampshire and am blessed to be able to help support the work they continue to do in the community."- Jason Whitehead
Sindiso Mnisi Weeks | Professor at UMass Boston
"Now that I am older and a parent myself, I like to open up new (and old, indigenous) ways of seeing the world to my children through the international books we read – and we read in multiple different languages (like isiZulu, German, and Spanish, as well as English) because one gains access to different ways of understanding the world through the different languages in which human beings invent and tell stories. And, after all, we become the stories we tell ourselves and each other. As an educator, I also find that reading and learning with my students is always enriching, expansive and generative." - Sindiso Mnisi Weeks
Courtney Perron | Director at SNHU Center for New Americans
"My name is Courtney Perron and I am the Director of the SNHU Center for New Americans. I teach English as a foreign language, and I am passionate about engaging with English language learners. Reading aloud is one of my favorite ways to engage with young learners, and to create a welcoming environment for all students. Introducing young learners to the magic of reading is a passion of mine. Please consider supporting me as I raise money for CY Reads!" - Courtney Perron
Ahmad Aissa | Founder & President at Aissa Sweets, LLC
Elizabeth Asmus | Marketing Assistant at Lavallee Brensinger Architects
"The tradition of sharing stories is as old as human existence. Fascinated by such tales as a child, both the fantastical tales of dreams as well as historical records ground in reality, I was always drawn to storytelling. I wrote my first “published” book in the third grade – a tale of a magical dog, evil leprechauns, and a magic pot of gold. It has been lost to time by now, or in a box somewhere in my parent’s storage -- and my memories of that first foray into grand writing are faded on the details, but my love for reading and writing has never left me. Like any writer, my first love has -- and always will be -- reading. I am new to both this firm and the CY Reads event, but I was inspired by the opportunity to read and be a part of the important tradition of telling stories to one another, and especially children. I loved reading as a child, and I hope to pass on my love of stories to others as well." - Elizabeth Asmus
Islam Karkour | Lecturer (Arabic), Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at UNH
"I volunteered to participate in CY Reads because, as an Arabic instructor at UNH, I believe in the power of language learning, literacy, and cross-cultural experiences! I, myself, am from a multi-cultural background, having moved to the United States from Egypt. I look forward to this opportunity to engage with young people through my read-aloud video, and I hope it inspires students to keep learning and developing a sense of belonging in their local communities through identity-affirmation and cross-cultural exchange." Islam Karkour
Kathleen Ragan | Development Associate at City Year NH
"I have been intentional in choosing the places I work. I choose places where it's not only my work but it's my passion. It's a true honor to work alongside staff and AmeriCorps members that support and serve Manchester students to be their very best version of themselves. It's a passion and desire of mine to know that we work towards striving for a more equal place and education for all. Literacy is extremely powerful. It can transport us to different places, times, and even plants. It allows us to read people's stories, meet new characters and learn from one another. It is my honor to be participating in CY Reads. Please help in supporting me to provide a resource for AmeriCorps members to use with their students and to ensure that City Year New Hampshire can continue the work they do every day in the classroom." - Kathleen Ragan
Lesa Scott | Retired Educator and President for Highlights for Children
"City Year has a very clear and consistent mission of commitment to interrupting behavior that contributes to greatly increasing the chances of a student dropping out of school. I believe in the approach and effort put forth by the City Year Organization as demonstrated through the direct contact Corps members have with students facing personal and educational challenges. Education and the support of City Year Corps members can be the key to unlocking access to a brighter and enhanced quality of life for many students. I gladly support CY Reads as a fundraising effort to replace the Annual Starry Starry Night fundraising event. Perhaps the most crucial benefit of CY Reads is the range of stories and literature the CY Reads videos will make accessible for Corps members to use with the students they support. CY Reads is an ingenious idea that germinated during the learning environment presented by COVID. I hope many will participate and contribute to this City Year effort."- Lesa Scott
Michael Dvorak | SVP of Accounting and Finance at Service Credit Union
"Service CU is excited to participate in City Year’s CY Reads initiative. The value of a story is priceless, as is advancing educational equity in NH. City Year’s commitment to providing safe spaces for children to grow in their literacy skills is commendable, and we are proud to support this great cause.” - Michael Dvorak
- 1 Elizabeth Asmus $5,100.00 raised
- 2 Michael Dvorak $5,000.00 raised
- 3 Lesa Scott $3,150.00 raised
- 4 Michael Sydney $2,250.00 raised
- 5 Ahmad Aissa $1,500.00 raised
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