A Hearty Welcome-Back Breakfast for Reading Volunteers

More than 100 SIMHS School Reading Volunteers were welcomed to the new term at a gala Kick-Off Breakfast at the Staaten on October 18. School administrators and local community leaders joined in officially opening the 58th year of the program.

Last year, more than 200 school reading volunteers donated 17,000 hours tutoring 650 children at most of the borough’s public elementary schools. This year looks to be as successful.

The event started off with a “musical appetizer” by the PS 22 Chorus, under the direction of Gregg Breinberg. The chorus, who are well-known throughout the country and regulars at our School Reading Volunteer events, wowed guests with their amazing voices, arrangements and enthusiasm.

The audience was greeted by School Reading Volunteer Program Co-Coordinator Maryann Striffolino, followed by SIMHS President and Chief Executive Officer Fern Zagor, volunteer trainer Lillian Phillips, and Tami DiCostanzo, a representative from the volunteer organization RSVP, who encouraged guests to expand their service efforts.

Ms. Striffolino also thanked Borough President James Oddo, whose office donated children’s books through his Readers Are Leaders Program. The books were distributed to the volunteers to share with their students.

The next free training sessions for new SIMHS School Reading Volunteers will be in January. Volunteers tutor elementary school children who need extra help learning to read, right at their schools, during the school day.

Volunteers must be high school graduates, be in good health, and possess patience, understanding, and concern for the welfare of children. For more information, call (718) 442-2225, Ext. 304.