FirstSouthwest Volunteers in Dallas Honored at Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center's Reading Partners Celebration
FirstSouthwest employees Dana Juergensen, Linda Noah, Lori Sanchez and Cheryl Barnes were honored at Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center’s end-of-the-year Reading Partners celebration on May 29. Reading Partners is a nonprofit literacy program that recruits and trains volunteers to provide one-on-one reading tutoring to students in under-resourced schools across the country.
Throughout the school year, Dana, Linda, Lori and Cheryl volunteered one hour every week to tutor third- grade students at Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center. FirstSouthwest employees also donated and purchased more than 170 books for students to take home and add to their personal library collection.
“Our aim is to not only improve the reading levels of Joseph J. Rhoads students, but also to instill a love of reading in these children, who, for the most part, did not have books at their reading level in their homes prior to becoming part of this program,” said Dana Juergensen, vice president of finance at FirstSouthwest and three-year volunteer at Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center. “It’s so gratifying to work with these students week after week and to witness their reading level improve so dramatically by the end of the year.”
During the ceremony, students read excerpts from Dr. Seuss’ “Oh, The Places You’ll Go!” to showcase their improved reading capabilities. Joseph J. Rhoads and Reading Partners representatives presented bronze statues and lapel pins to volunteers in appreciation for their dedicated service. Cupcakes donated by FirstSouthwest were served after the ceremony to congratulate students on their reading achievements throughout the year.
FirstSouthwest’s past support for Joseph J. Rhoads Learning Center includes field trips to FirstSouthwest’s headquarters, sponsorship of staff and student holiday parties and the donation of a piano for their music department.