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November 3, 2011

The Literacy Coalition is Making a Difference

by PBUnitedWay


The ability to read and write, to read the newspaper, write an email, read your child a book, prepare a resume. Seems like a small thing…. And to most, it is. Many of us take it for granted. But for many, right here in Palm Beach County, the ability to read and write is a foreign idea and often seems to be an unattainable goal.

The Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County is committed to ensuring that every resident in Palm Beach County is able to read. Andy Chiamopoulos, a  Literacy AmeriCorps member, shared his story about his experience with his student and the amazing confidence the student gained through literacy.

“When I met one of my first students, she was a very shy, six-year-old girl who had already fallen behind in school. She struggled greatly with reading and when we began reading together, her mistakes would visibly upset her. This resulted in her being completely unenthusiastic about reading and I could see she dreaded our sessions together. I knew it was going to take a lot of work, but I was committed to helping her improve her reading skills.”

“Week after week, we read together. At first, most of out time was spent with my reading to her. As she continued to learn new words and her phonetic skills improved, however, she became more eager to read on her own. Eventually, she began to read entire books independently! I’ve also noticed an increase in her confidence as a result of her improved reading. And somewhere between our, “an author writes a story” chants and the silly games we’d play together after reading a book, she began to open up to me. Now, every time she sees me, she wants to know when we’re going to read again! I feel fortunate to have worked with her and I look forward to continuing to help her with reading.”

With the help of the Literacy Coalition and the Literacy AmeriCorps member, this students is now confident and feels empowered with her new found abilities.

The Town of Palm Beach United Way believes in empowering individuals and families so that they may lead successful, fulfilling lives within our community. To find out more about the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County and our other partner agencies, visit


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