2017 EDUCATION AWARD
Founder, The Reading Team
Harlem, New York
At an early age, Maureen’s parents instilled in her a lifelong passion for books and storytelling. As an adult, Maureen’s love for reading transformed into a successful career in publishing. But it wasn’t until after retirement – when she read that barely 30% of 3rd- 5th graders in New York City passed New York’s state reading exam – that she discovered her true purpose in life: boost New York’s dismal literacy rates by instilling a lifelong love and enthusiasm for reading in children from disadvantaged communities.
Maureen founded The Reading Team, which has grown from teaching 70 students in 2000 to over 800 today. The program has seen extraordinary results. In 2014, 80% of Reading Team students in grades 3-5 passed the standardized reading exam. But perhaps the most powerful examples of The Reading Team’s impact come from the voices of the students themselves, who say that they “went from liking books to loving them.”
Maureen’s ultimate goal is to empower every Reading Team student with critical thinking, problem-solving, and communications skills, unlocking the future for college and beyond.