“I just hate to hear a kid say, I don’t like to read.”

Tracy Lord moved from Georgia to Vermont in March of 2016 to be closer to her family—and found a rich connection to a child and reading community in Burlington.  Tracy loves to read herself, loves kids, and had already been involved with an adult literacy program in Georgia. She had a strong desire to give back to children and her new community.

“My dad was a literature professor at Hofstra University on Long Island. I just hate to hear a kid say, I don’t like to read.

Tracy likes reading with Everybody Wins! Vermont in the middle of the day. It’s easy to work around, and she has support from co-workers to be gone for that hour or so to read to Jude. Her employer Marathon Health really encourages employees to volunteer in the community.  As an added benefit, Tracy gets a bit of a mid-day break—out of the office, meeting new people, viewing new scenery. She returns to work refreshed and rewarded.

Tracy reads at the Sustainability Academy in Burlington’s Old North End. The school is great—small, cute, compact. “I like that little school. You can see that the kids are cared for.” School lunches are so much better than when she was at school!

Each week Tracy meets with Jude to read Jude’s favorite books. “My mentee is smart, smart as a whip! Smarter than I thought a second grader would be.” Tracy looks forward to her time with Jude and vice versa.

About his time with Tracy, Jude says, “I love reading with Tracy. We read about superheroes and I told her that I want to be Iron Man when I grow up. She likes superheroes too.”

Marathon Health asked employees to write a short piece about what they were doing to give back to the community. Tracy’s piece won the contest, resulting in a $250 donation to Everybody Wins! Vermont. Big thanks to Marathon Health for supporting their employees to give back in their communities.