Greenwich United Way to Host Reading Champions Literacy Seminar & Open House

The Greenwich United Way will host a Reading Champions seminar and open house at Greenwich Town Hall on September 21 at 10:00am.

The event is open to all those interested prospective volunteers and the public to foster a better understanding of literacy development while identifying and meeting the needs of emerging readers.

Joan Lowe at a Reading Champions Event. Photo: Leslie Yager

Dr. Margie Gillis, literacy expert and founder of, will share insights on how to improve literacy. Following her presentation will be a workshop for Reading Champion volunteers and prospects.  

Reading Champions was founded in 2008 by retired Greenwich Public School teacher and guidance counselor Joan Lowe, who recognized the need for one-on-one literacy programs.

With the support of the Greenwich United Way, Lowe developed the program that enables volunteers to teach students how to read and comprehend in ways best suited to their learning styles. Since then, Reading Champions has provided one-on-one and small group reading instruction and tutoring to countless Greenwich Public School elementary students at 11 schools and various after-school programs in town.

The program anticipates the participation of 500 students during the 2021-2022 school year.

“Reading Champions is a quintessential program for Greenwich students and families. The program brings together reading specialists with committed volunteers who are trained to provide dedicated reading support, fostering literacy skills and a love of learning in students,” said Cecile Meunier, Program Coordinator for the Greenwich United Way.

Reading Champions provides more than 15,000 moments of direct impact between volunteer tutors and elementary students every year. The results are far reaching, including motivating greater reading fluency and inspiring academic confidence to ultimately impact greater student success in the classroom for years to come. Interested volunteers and seminar attendees are asked to RSVP to [email protected] or 203-869-2221.

Margie Gillis, Ed.D. founded Literacy How in 2009 to bring her extensive knowledge-to-practice research to the classroom. The organization’s vision is to close the achievement gap and raise reading achievement for all students.

Literacy How has advanced teaching and learning by helping thousands of educators in hundreds of schools and districts to use evidence-based practices to succeed. Through training, coaching, and mentoring, every teacher working with Literacy How is given the knowledge and skills needed to teach children to read, write, and spell. For more information, visit