Launched in Iowa in 2002, Everybody Wins Iowa! is a nonprofit educational organization whose mission is to increase children’s success in school and life through one-to-one reading and mentoring experiences with caring volunteers. Elementary school students are paired with volunteers on a one-to-one basis to generate enthusiasm for reading and to improve children’s literacy.
The Everybody Wins Iowa! “Power Lunch” Program matches mentors from the public and private sectors with students once a week during the lunch hour. The “buddies” read together and then share conversations about the books they’ve read. This provides children with positive role models and fosters a love of reading at an early age. The students in the program receive important one-on-one time with a caring adult, and the volunteers are getting the chance to help shape students for the future.
In addition to the “Power Lunch” Program, they also offer a few breakfast and after school programs. Programs are offered at 23 different schools in Ankeny, Des Moines, Indianola and West Des Moines and serve over 500 students during the school year and summer break.
Students are selected for the program on teacher recommendation. Students typically are either not reading at grade level, English is not their first language or may be in need of an adult mentor. The program has shown promising results with 90% of participating students either maintaining or improving their literacy skills and they also have improved school attendance.
How does everybody win?
- Students win by enjoying consistent and positive interactions with caring adults.
- Volunteers win by enjoying meaningful and worthwhile experiences and the satisfaction of knowing they are making a positive impact on the future of a young child.
- Schools win by seeing improvement in their students’ literacy skills without assuming any administrative burden or cost.
- Companies win by offering a simple, efficient way to enhance employee morale and from the positive effects of providing a valuable service to the community.
If you would like more information about the program for your child or you would like to volunteer, visit Everybody Wins Iowa!’s website for additional information. The organization also accepts donations and hosts reading events throughout the year.
Everybody Wins Iowa!
901 Walnut St #328
Des Moines, IA 50309
Phone: (515) 277-7590
Would your kids or YOU enjoy participating in Everybody Wins Iowa!?