Partners in Literacy

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Partners in Literacy

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Board of Directors

 

The Board of Directors of Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven is committed to carrying out the nonprofit's mission of empowering adults through literacy. In overseeing the agency's professional staff and volunteer tutors, the board works to ensure that a broad range of community voices is heard. To achieve that goal, the directors include respected representatives in the fields of education, business, government and nonprofits from across the region to draw on their skills in management, finances and fundraising.

  
 

Leadership:

President
Betty Brumberg
Retired, (former Basic Literacy Program Manager, LVGNH)

Secretary
Tamara R. Cypress
CT Department of Labor

Treasurer
Shantel Garcia
Innovative Consulting & Solutions

Members:

C. Vanessa Clarke
Catholic Charities Family Services-Ansonia

Ayse Kubra Coskun, MD
Yale Medical School

IfeMichelle Gardin
Elm City LITFest Founder
Independent Cultural Diversity Facilitator

Carla G. Glass
Marcum, LLP

Barbara Hedberg
ACES

Lisa Kaston
LMK Consulting Services

Bonnie Morehead
South Central CT Regional
Water Authority

Alicia Riddick
People's United Bank​

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Betty Brumburg, President

This Agency means a lot to me because of our mission, which is to give our students the proper language skills to live their most fulfilling life possible.  I remember my grandmother (who immigrated to the US when she was a young adult) sending me to the neighborhood store for her when I was little (8 or 9 years old) because she didn't speak English well.

Tamara R. Cypress, Secretary

I believe that having a high level of literacy provides an individual with the capacity to take charge of their life and channel their energy and talents in ways that benefit everyone. Literacy Volunteers has been helping people improve their reading, writing and speaking skills for years, and the Greater New Haven community benefits greatly from the services provided. I am proud to be a part of this life-changing organization.

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C. Vanessa Clarke, Board Member

Literacy Volunteers gave me the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of adults who struggle with reading and other literacy skills.  I feel honored I can meet so many different individuals and listen to and understand their experiences. Being a tutor means I am embarking on a journey that involves building trust, having patience, and being flexible and creative in your teaching style to help that student reach their personal literacy goals. It is rewarding to a student’s self-confidence to grow as they gain mastery of reading and conversational English skills. 

Ayse Kubra Coskun, MD, Board Member

During my early 20s, I moved to the United States.  My new home was now an ocean away from my country of birth. While I tried to establish myself academically and professionally, I worked on creating my own blend of the cultures. An important part of this experience was learning a new language as an adult. I don't think I have studied for anything else in my life (including neuroanatomy) as much as I studied English.

My greatest allies in this fascinating, yet truly humbling, journey have been the numerous friends and volunteer tutors who encouraged me and patiently worked with me as I was struggling, building my language skills brick by brick. Indeed, my learning journey continues but it was also time for me to take my place on the giving end of such life-altering, sincere efforts as a part of the Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven Board.

As one of our students, volunteers, sponsors, or a community member, please don't be shy to reach out. I have many stories that may bring a smile to your face and help you see the light at the end of one very long tunnel.

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IfeMichelle Gardin, Board Member

The reason I serve on the board for Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven is that I believe in the core goals of the mission to help adults overcome obstacles and achieve their goals with the transformative power of reading, writing, and speaking English.

I believe that the more Literate people are, the more empowered they are to pursue a productive life.

Carla G. Glass, Board Member

I was drawn to the Literacy Board because I value reading so much, the information and worlds it opens me to. Since joining the Board, however, I have realized that the benefits of literacy are far more essential and basic than that – the ability to read medical instructions, to help your child in school, for example. I have come to understand that literacy is a basic foundation of someone’s ability to live life as they want.

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Barbara Hedberg, Board Member

I joined Literacy Volunteers last year because I was interested in being part of an organization that promotes literacy for everyone. I spent my career teaching children with disabilities and discovered quickly how much joy the students showed when they were able to read! As a lifelong reader I love the idea of sharing that love with everyone!

Lisa Kaston, Board Member

It has been a humbling experience to serve on the Literacy Volunteers board for the past several years. Within a collaborative and supportive environment, I appreciate how transformational efforts by staff, tutors and the students themselves help to achieve strong literacy outcomes. And in the process, students have also been able to obtain better jobs, as well as help to improve educational opportunities and quality of life for their entire families. My introduction to the organization occurred when I referred a friend, who was a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, for services -- and saw first-hand how dedicated staff and tutors were helping students to transcend initial fears (and often cultural differences), as lives were transformed. 

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Bonnie Morehead, Board Member

My interest in being on the Literacy Volunteers Board is anchored to my equating reading as a passport to the world. Once I learned to read as a child, the world of hope and unrestricted opportunities were mine for the taking. As member of the Board, my hope is to pay it forward by helping others discover the power and art of reading.

Interested in working with us? We are looking for Volunteers!