What is Everybody Wins! Iowa?
Everybody Wins! Iowa is a literacy and mentoring non-profit organization that increases children's opportunities for success in school and life through one-on-one reading experiences with caring adults and older students. Everybody Wins! Iowa's signature program is the Power Lunch program which matches elementary school students one-to-one with community volunteers. Everybody Wins! Iowa has over 500 community volunteers that assist directly with the Power Lunch program. This year, Everybody Wins! Iowa will have programs in 20 schools in Ankeny, Des Moines, Indianola, Norwalk, and Pella. Everybody Wins! Iowa also partners with the Boys and Girls Club of Central Iowa and Children and Family Urban Ministries to host programs at their sites. Through this program, volunteer reading mentors visit their student for an hour once a week, during the students' lunch. Volunteers talk with the students, read aloud to students, have students read aloud to them, and instill positive attitudes about reading. The volunteers serve as role models, enhancing students' self-esteem and encouraging their success through these consistent, weekly, positive interactions.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Everybody Wins!?
Founded in 1991 by Arthur and Phyllis Tannenbaum, Everybody Wins! began as five volunteers reading on their lunch hours in one Manhattan school. Since then, it has grown into a national public-private partnership that provides structured one-on-one mentoring to youth. Taking root in 16 states and Washington, DC, Everybody Wins! has evolved from informal read-aloud sessions to four distinct literacy and mentoring programs: Power Lunch, Readers Are Leaders, Story Time and EW! Book Clubs.
How did it get started?
Mr. Tannenbaum and his wife, Phyllis, both of whom attended New York City public schools, had always believed in the importance of reading to their children. Mrs. Tannenbaum's experience as an elementary school teacher, combined with the Tannenbaums' experience parenting their own three children, motivated them to unite adults with children for meaningful read aloud opportunities. After reading Jim Trelease's The Read Aloud Handbook, which emphasizes the importance of reading out loud to children to encourage both literacy and a love of literature, Mr. Tannenbaum started visiting a school near his office during his lunch hour to read with a student. Colleagues soon joined him in this Power Lunch. When he retired in 1991, he dedicated his time to growing the program. From five readers in one Manhattan public school, Power Lunch has grown into a program that currently operates in schools throughout New York City and in 37 other cities throughout the country.
Who are the volunteers?
Everybody Wins! Iowa volunteers are employees of our corporate partners, members of organizations and caring adults from the community. Everybody Wins! Iowa completes background checks on each volunteer to ensure the safety of each child in the program.
What is the time commitment of volunteer readers?
Volunteers commit to one lunch hour per week for a school year, following the school's academic calendar. We encourage our volunteers to continue with their reading partners throughout their entire time in the program.
What is the role of Everybody Wins! Corporate Partners?
Corporate partners provide the volunteers and financial support that helps Everybody Wins! Iowa deliver programs within their community. Corporate partners help publicize the volunteer opportunity to employees and make an annual contribution to Everybody Wins! Iowa.
I don't have time to volunteer, how else can I help?
A variety of opportunities exist that do not require a large time commitment. Please contact us if you'd like to get involved.