RAI Reading Corps — Voices of the RAI Corps

"I have been involved in education for over 27 years. I have a degree in education. I have taught children and adults of all ages. I have been a mentor, a volunteer educator and a professional educator. I have been in more than 22 schools as a mentor, classroom presenter, and substitute teacher. Being a full time reading interventionist this year was the hardest of them all."

Cindy Genau
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17

 

"The children at Carrie Downie face challenges that I have never experienced, my friends have never experienced, and my children have never experienced. It has touched me how hard life can be for them and how difficult it is in school for them, and yet many of them continue to try. So many of the children come to school with smiles on their faces, with a longing to learn."

Liberty Breen
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17

 

"I assumed that all you had to do was pour lots of love and attention on them, the same way you give plants sunshine and water, and viola, they’ll do fine. It was a rude awakening to discover that they also need predictability, clarity, consistency and discipline to make progress with reading. Working with kids was like baptism by fire."

Wendy Abraham
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17

 

"Learning is a process for any student, but especially for students who are grappling with learning a second language or living with a disability. Through my work in Colonial Schools and because of the space Reading Assist Institute has provided, I have come to really appreciate the process.  Everyone learns in his or her own way, and that should be nurtured."

Keely Hill
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17

 

"The struggling readers I met this year might not have been able to achieve anything much – in terms of reading and writing – without me. It might not seem significant to finally realize the difference between B and D or E and I, but these small successes can have a huge impact on a student’s overall ability to read and decode words. And any success is a big deal for these students. Even the smallest success can improve the child’s self-worth, self-esteem and intrinsic motivation. What I did matters!"

Joel Wilson
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17

 

"While my job was to provide reading intervention, it was so clear to me that many of these children needed help with much more. I had one student inform me that she was told on numerous occasions that she was stupid and would never go to college. At the start of the year she was exactly the type of student I feared – fidgety, stubborn and reticent, among other things. After weeks of reading intervention, I could see this student’s confidence start to build and she was slowly becoming more willing to put in the effort to get work done."

Sharia Greene
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17

 

"Through my experience working as a reading interventionist the past two years, I have rediscovered my passion for teaching English as a second language. I am now eager to build upon my interest in teaching English as a second language through graduate studies in the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) program at the University of Delaware this coming fall. Without my experience serving two years as an RAI Corps member, I may not have realized this passion and been able to empower myself to pursue such a fulfilling career in teaching children."

Jon Kittle
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17

 

"The 2016-2017 RAI Corps have bonded from our initial meeting in August. Each members' reason(s) for serving demonstrated compassion, concern and a sincere effort to give their best to what we hoped to inspire, the best in the students we taught. Thus this group, with its varied ages, skills and life experiences, formed a unique group of people that made the year memorable."

Sharon Sanders
RAI Corps, class of 2016-17