CUNY Reading Rescue | Reading Ready Teams

Jean Capitali

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Program Director, CUNY Reading Rescue Project

Jean oversees the CUNY Reading Rescue embedded course program by developing and maintaining all programmatic and organizational structures related to professional development, collaborating with CUNY/NYCDOE partners, managing feedback structures for success and through reporting data and metrics. Jean also served as the Director of the CUNY Reading Rescue/Reading Ready Summer Rising program. Jean has a degree in Early Childhood Education and dual Masters in Special and General Education. She previously taught for 11 years before dedicating the last 5+ years to the development and management of the Reading Rescue program with the Benedict Silverman Foundation. Jean was brought on as the Program Director of this initiative based on her historical knowledge of the program, strong credibility as a teacher and former RR Coordinator, outstanding delivery of the PDs as well as her impressive skills in communicating, coaching, and managing tutors.

Max deWeered

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Program Manager, CUNY Reading Rescue Project

Max is a graduate student at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He took ECAE 7115 with Dr. Miles in the Fall of 2020 and was part of the first group of tutors for the CUNY-Reading Rescue initiative. He was a proficient tutor and was promoted to the role of lead instructor for the spring 2021 semester, and then he served as a Program Manager for the CUNY Reading Rescue/ Reading Ready Summer Rising initiative. Max is thrilled to serve as a Program Manager for the CUNY NYC Men Teach Reading Rescue project in 2021-2022. He holds an MBA and has worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for the last 11 years, most recently as a Director of Operations at an early learning center. Before that, Max worked as a Policy Advisor to the Minister of Economic Affairs in his home country, the Netherlands. Max believes that strong reading and writing skills provide the foundation for academic success for all children.

Josh Barocas

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Program Director, CUNY Reading Rescue Project

After working as a Program Manager for the CUNY Reading Rescue/Reading Ready Summer Rising program, Josh is thrilled to serve as Program Director of the NYC Men Teach Reading Rescue project. He is an active member of Dr. Miles’s Brooklyn College Early Literacy Lab, and he is currently working on a paper with Dr. Miles that examines the content of word walls in Kindergarten classrooms. Prior to his work with Reading Rescue, Josh earned a Master’s degree in Reading & Literacy, and worked for several years as a reading specialist at a private school in Brooklyn and in private practice. Prior to that, Josh worked as a Lab Manager, supporting an NIH-funded study of language development. These two experiences together, engaging with developmental language research and teaching children to read, have fueled Josh’s passion for bringing the science of reading into practice for those who need it most.

Paola Jimenez

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Program Manager, CUNY Reading Rescue Project

Paola is a graduate student at Brooklyn College, CUNY. She has over three years of experience in early childhood education with students from infancy to the age of seven. She took Dr. Miles’s Literacy graduate course in the Spring of 2021, and after completing her fieldwork hours she continued tutoring through the internship portion of the CUNY-Reading Rescue initiative. Paola thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was determined to be an excellent tutor so therefore, she was promoted to the role of lead instructor for the CUNY Reading Rescue/Reading Reading Summer Rising initiative. In this role she observed and provided feedback to tutors on a weekly basis. She now serves as a Program Manager and is looking forward to the upcoming CUNY Reading Rescue Embedded Course model. In addition to being a full time mother to a joyous and lighthearted 34 month old toddler, Paola is also enthusiastic about planning on graduating next Spring in 2023 with a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and an extension in Bilingual Education. Paola believes in the importance of offering endless learning opportunities and in providing meaningful engagement to multilingual students while supporting their language development.

Rongrong Dong

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Admin and Lead Instructor, CUNY Reading Rescue Project

Rongrong is a Brooklyn College student with three years of experience in early childhood education. She took Professor Malyukova’s Literacy undergraduate course ECAE 3104 in the Spring of 2021. She has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of tutoring striving readers and was determined to be an excellent tutor. Rongrong was then promoted to the role of lead instructor for the CUNY Reading Rescue/ Reading Ready Summer Rising Initiative. She has observed and provided feedback as a lead instructor to other tutors, and will continue this role for the upcoming CUNY Reading Rescue Embedded Course model. Rongrong believes that this has been one of the most rewarding experiences for her. Rongrong also works as admin. She has been working with the zoom recordings, zoom meetings, Amira assessment and payroll, etc., and will continue this role for the summer. She has a lot of enthusiasm for working with children and will be pursuing a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education once she attains her Bachelor’s Degree.

Stacy Edwards

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Lead Instructor, Reading Rescue Project

Stacy is a Brooklyn College student with three years of experience in Early Childhood Education. She took Dr. Katharine Miles’s Literacy graduate course in Spring 2021. She thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was determined to be an excellent tutor, therefore she was promoted to the role of lead instructor for the CUNY Reading Rescue/ Reading Ready Summer Rising Initiative. In this role she observed and provided feedback as a lead instructor and will continue in this role in the upcoming CUNY Reading Rescue Embedded Course Model. Stacy aspires to one day open and operate an early education childhood center where she can teach and guide her staff into providing quality experience to young learners. She also hopes to incorporate the knowledge she has gained through her Reading Rescue tutoring experiences. Stacy is very thrilled to be a part of this program.

Shaunette Pitman

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Lead Instructor, CUNY Reading Ready and Reading Rescue Project

Shaunette is a Brooklyn College student with over three years of experience in early childhood education, she took Dr. Miles’s graduate Literacy course in the Spring of 2021 and has thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was determined to be an excellent tutor so therefore, she was promoted to the role of lead instructor for the CUNY Reading Rescue/ Reading Ready Summer Rising Initiative. In this role she observed and provided feedback as a lead instructor and will continue to provide support to other tutors and students in this role for the Reading Rescue and Ready initiatives. Shaunette has learned so much about reading and the tools required to effectively read. The Reading Rescue program has highlighted the significance of her role as a preschool teacher in ensuring that her preschool students develop early grapheme and phoneme alphabet knowledge, which is needed for later successful reading. Shaunette is extremely grateful for the opportunity to be part of an initiative that is making a difference, she also desires to become a literacy specialist to broaden her skills and expertise to further help children become successful readers.

Christina Groll

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Lead Instructor, CUNY Reading Rescue Project

Christina is a Brooklyn College graduate student with six years of experience in early childhood education. She took Dr. Miles’s Literacy graduate course in the Spring of 2021. She has thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was determined to be an excellent tutor so therefore, she was promoted to the role of lead instructor for the CUNY Reading Rescue/ Reading Ready Summer Rising Initiative. In this role she observed and provided feedback as a lead instructor and will continue this role in the upcoming CUNY Reading Rescue NYC Men Teach project. This initiative has provided Christina with skills that are necessary to become an effective mentor as well as a teacher. She believes she has been provided with the tools, resources and techniques to fully implement an effective literacy lesson in her own classroom.

Christina Groll

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Lead Instructor, CUNY Reading Rescue Project

Christina is a Brooklyn College graduate student with six years of experience in early childhood education. She took Dr. Miles’s Literacy graduate course in the Spring of 2021. She has thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was determined to be an excellent tutor so therefore, she was promoted to the role of lead instructor for the CUNY Reading Rescue/ Reading Ready Summer Rising Initiative. In this role she observed and provided feedback as a lead instructor and will continue this role in the upcoming CUNY Reading Rescue NYC Men Teach project. This initiative has provided Christina with skills that are necessary to become an effective mentor as well as a teacher. She believes she has been provided with the tools, resources and techniques to fully implement an effective literacy lesson in her own classroom.

Yanisleidy Eugenia Jones

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Educational Director/ Pre-k Teacher 

Baybee Lounge Daycare, Brooklyn N.Y.

Yanisleidy Eugenia Jones is currently a graduate student at Brooklyn College pursuing a masters in Early Childhood Education with a Bilingual Extension. She has worked in the past as a tutor, activity specialist afterschool, jumpstart team leader, assistant teacher, and head teacher. She began working on the CUNY Reading Ready Project as a Reading Ready tutor, and is now a Reading Ready Lead instructor. She loves being able to work in a program that provides young children with intervention services. It gives her the opportunity to build strong relationships with students while she assists them in learning to read.

Jessica Pyronneau

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Lead Instructor, CUNY Reading Ready Project

Jessica is an undergraduate at Brooklyn College majoring in Secondary Education, English 7-12, and will graduate in Fall 2022. She has one year of experience working with preschoolers through first grade. She assisted teachers with lesson planning, assisted students with class assignments, and read aloud to students. Jessica was thrilled to be given the opportunity to work as a tutor under the Reading Rescue program in the summer of 2021. Jessica was able to build a strong relationship with her students while implementing the lessons, resulting in an increase in her students’ reading levels. She felt confident in herself as a future educator at the end of the program and wanted to continue working with it. So she jumped at the chance to join Reading Ready when she learned about it. She was excited to begin working as a tutor again in the program. She enjoyed instructing the students and assisting them in their progress. Jessica’s students were always looking forward to the session; they enjoyed every minute and constantly asked for more when the time was up. She appreciated observing her students’ progress and maintaining a solid relationship with them. As a result of her positive attitude, she was promoted to lead instructor. As a lead instructor, she provided feedback and assisted other tutors in efficiently teaching the lesson, as well as various tips on how to connect with their students. Jessica will apply the skills and teaching strategies she learned in this program in her profession as a junior high/high school teacher after she graduates.