Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of hosting the students and mentors of Everybody Wins! at DOT for a celebration of the literacy group's Power Lunch program.
Readers who have followed this blog during the past few years might recall that Everybody Wins! has been a favorite non-profit organization for me since my days in Congress. And since Washington, DC's Amidon-Bowen Elementary School is just down the street, I was happy to welcome EW! Power Lunch participants to DOT.
Power Lunch is a terrific program where adult reading mentors are paired with students and agree to visit the student's school once a week to read with the student during lunchtime. The goals of Power Lunch are simple: to encourage the student’s interest in reading and to expand the student's opportunities for success.
When adult read with kids, it generates enthusiasm for books and reading and helps students overcome their apprehension. It also builds important life skills like listening, comprehension and vocabulary, and it increases a child's attention span and ability to concentrate.
And the results show that the Power Lunch program works. Students who have been in the program participate more in the classroom, show increased enthusiasm for books, and are more motivated to learn.
Of course, those gains would not be possible without the dedication that Power Lunch mentors bring to the table. Throughout the academic year, whether they've had a good week at work or not, mentors take time away from their professional cares and share their enthusiasm for reading with students across the DC area.
But we should also credit the students. I know from my own experience as a Power Lunch mentor that the eagerness and energy they demonstrate is part of what mentors look forward to at the lunches each week.
So, congratulations to all who participated in Power Lunch and to Everybody Wins! for another terrific school year. Don't forget to keep reading!