PLATINUM2024

Everybody Wins! Iowa

Everybody Wins when you read with a child

aka Everybody Wins! Iowa   |   Des Moines, IA   |  www.everybodywinsiowa.org

Mission

Everybody Wins! Iowa is a literacy and mentoring organization dedicated to increasing children's success in school through reading and mentoring experiences with caring volunteers.

Notes from the nonprofit

Power Read is our signature program where students meet with their mentor weekly and read aloud to bond and build a relationship together. During Power Read, the pair interacts in a one-to-one, informal, safe, and fun setting. They have the ability to pick books that interest the student, choose who reads or to share the reading, and do reading-related activities or have informal conversations. Students are recommended for the program by their teachers in one of more of these categories: Student displays a need for a consistent mentor. Student is below their grade level in reading. Student is an English Language Learner. Everybody Wins! Iowa collaborates with schools and community centers to ensure the success and sustainability of the program. Our program is provided at no cost to schools or families. No financial burden for our partners means that we can bring our program to the students who need it most. We provide our students with books to build their home libraries.

Ruling year info

2004

Executive Director

Karen Ligas

Main address

PO Box 691

Des Moines, IA 50303 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

81-0618641

NTEE code info

Primary/Elementary Schools (B24)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

Voluntarism Promotion (T40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Everybody Wins! Iowa is a reading and mentoring non- profit that was created to help address the issue of illiteracy that exists in our society today. We achieve our mission by inviting volunteer reading mentors from the community into schools for reading experiences and interaction with elementary-age students, providing resources, including free books, to local children, and advocating the importance of reading aloud to children. Within Iowa, one in four students is not reading proficiently at grade level by the end of 4th grade, we are working to change that. We understand that literacy skills are a critical foundation for every child for them to be successful later in school and in life. We achieve our mission by matching students with volunteer reading mentors who come in once a week to read, talk, and build relationships with each other in a low-pressure environment.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Power Read Programs

The Power Read program is the primary program of Everybody Wins! Iowa and serves students in 30 schools and community organizations in Central Iowa. The program matches approximately 500 elementary school students one-to-one with community volunteers to serve as their reading mentors during the school year. The main population of students being served are students from families that are free - and reduced-price-lunch eligible and minority students. Through this program, volunteer reading mentors visit their student for about an hour every week. 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. The program's simple equation - one mentor, one child, one book at a time - produces powerful results. "Everybody Wins! when you read with a child!"

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Where we work

Awards

Impact Maker Award for Advocacy 2018

United Way of Central Iowa

Affiliations & memberships

The Library of Congress State Literacy Award 2019

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of participants engaged in programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Power Read Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Students enrolled in Power Read and matched with a volunteer reading mentor

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Power Read Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Volunteer reading mentors and other program volunteers.

Total number of volunteer hours contributed to the organization

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children, At-risk youth, Low-income people

Related Program

Power Read Programs

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Number of volunteer hours provided to Everybody Wins! Iowa

Percent of students who read outside of required class time

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

Power Read Programs

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Percent of students reporting they read outside of required class (school).

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Reading is the foundation of all academic subjects, so having the resources, motivation, and practice reading outside of school is invaluable to the student. By providing students with these read-aloud experiences, students will increase their enthusiasm and engagement in reading, and be better prepared to get the most out of their classroom learning experiences.

Reading aloud has also proven to be impactful in a child’s social and emotional development. Through consistent reading and relationship building with a mentor, the student is given the opportunity to practice their communication skills, build their confidence, and develop empathy and emotional intelligence which will help prepare students to face challenges and be successful in life.

The main goals of Power Read are to better prepare students for learning in the classroom and increase their Social & Emotional Learning. (See figure above) Within the objectives, there are seven outcomes that EWI will use data collection instruments to measure:

1. Enthusiasm: Students develop a positive attitude towards reading.
2. Engagement: Students increase their engagement in school and reading experiences.
3. Resources: Students have resources to read outside the classroom.
4. Confidence: Students increase their self-esteem and confidence in reading and other areas of life.
5. Relationship skills: Students increase their relationship skills and build a positive relationship with their mentor.
6. Communication skills: Students increase their communication skills and ability to articulate ideas.
7. Behavior: Students improve their behavior in and outside of school.

The primary objective of the program is to increase children's success in school by improving literacy and fostering a love of reading by pairing caring volunteer reading mentors one-to-one with a student for one hour each week. During this time, volunteers read aloud to students,and have students practice reading aloud to them.

The program focuses on improving the reading skills of children who read below grade level, are learning English as a second language, or display a need for mentoring for any reason--with a large portion of these children coming from minority and/or low-income households. The second objective of programming is to improve children's self-esteem through one-on-one interactions with volunteer reading mentors. Our programs complement the education the students are already receiving by giving them an opportunity to practice and improve their reading while receiving positive feedback and encouragement. The confidence children in our program gain is important in developing both their success in the classroom and a lifelong love of reading.

The third major objective is to continue to increase the number of volunteer mentors in the program. Because our programming is based on one-on-one interactions, recruiting more volunteers means that we are able to work with more children while expanding awareness of the literacy issues many of the children in our communities face.

The philosophy of Everybody Wins! Iowa is based upon the power of one - one mentor, one child, one book at a time - as a way to cultivate both academic success and the love for reading.

Our Program outcome goals set for FY22:
80% of program students increased their engagement in the classroom/school (teacher survey)
85% of students improved their enthusiasm for books and reading according to their teachers (teacher survey)
95% of student survey respondents reported that they enjoyed coming to Power Read
85% of student survey respondents are reading outside of the classroom
90% Mentor engagement (based on mentor survey and program attendance)
5% increase in the diversity of program volunteers (volunteer data)

Three methods measure outcomes: Program Reports, Program Surveys, and the collection of success stories.
The Program Outputs Reports collect data on outputs such as the amount of time spent reading in the program, student and mentor attendance rates, and the number of books distributed.
Program surveys are distributed to program students, their teachers, parents, and mentors, to collect data on program results. Student surveys are completed once at the beginning of the program year and again at the end of the school year to assess the effectiveness of our program on increasing the students’ enthusiasm for reading. The teacher, parent, and mentor surveys are completed at the end of the program to assess changes in the students’ engagement, enthusiasm, and social and emotional development.
Success stories show tangible results and real impact.

The Everybody Wins! program was founded in New York by Arthur Tannenbaum and his wife Phyllis. They had always read aloud to their children and reading aloud together was an important time for them to come together after a long day. It helped the Tannenbaums to instill a lifelong love of reading in their children. Arthur picked up a copy of the Read-Aloud Handbook, written by Jim Trelease after reading a book review in the New York Times. Arthur appreciated how important the read-aloud experience was for children, and realized that there were many children who didn't have that opportunity to read with an adult in their daily lives.

Trelease wrote that reading aloud to children was the single most important factor in improving children's literacy skills--but what happens to those children who never had that opportunity? Arthur saw a chance to make a difference by visiting a neighborhood school once a week during his lunchtime and read to a child. He quickly recruited co-workers to join him in his weekly “Power Lunch." Soon, the volunteers' impact became obvious. Children in the program were learning to love reading, they were gaining self-confidence, and they were becoming better readers. This simple program has an enormously powerful impact! Soon Arthur retired from his job and founded Everybody Wins! as a nonprofit in New York.

This program quickly spread, and was brought to Iowa in 2002 after Senator Tom Harkin participated in an Everybody Wins! DC program and knew it could benefit children in Iowa.

During its first year, Everybody Wins! Iowa served 15 children in three Des Moines schools (Capitol View, Monroe, and Windsor). We will be entering our 20th year in FY23. Everybody Wins! Iowa serves 500 children during the school year in 30 schools (located in Des Moines, Ankeny, Indianola, Norwalk, Perry, and West Des Moines). The organization operates under the leadership of an 15-member volunteer board of directors from the community, one full-time Executive Director, two part-time Program Managers, one full-time Volunteer Manager, one Marketing/Development Coordinator, one AmeriCorps member through ICAP, and approximately 13 part-time site coordinators, numerous interns, students from local colleges and universities completing service hours, and approximately 600 community volunteers.

Over the past 20 years, Everybody Wins! Iowa as a literacy and mentoring organization has served over 5,000 students and distributed more than 50,000 new books to those students, and provided meaningful volunteer opportunities for thousands of community members in four counties, across 8 cities in Central Iowa.

Our results from FY21:
35 Program Schools/Sites
535 Number of students served
375 Number of volunteer mentors
404 Total Number of Everybody Wins! Iowa volunteers
4,089 Number of books gifted by Everybody Wins! Iowa to students
3,359 Number of hours donated by Everybody Wins! Iowa volunteers
810 Number of books read to students through our reading programs
22,528 Number of pages read to students through our reading programs

Program outcomes from FY21:
81% of student survey respondents increased their enthusiasm for books and reading
96% of student survey respondents reported that they enjoyed coming to Power Read
84% of student survey respondents are reading outside of the classroom

*In 2019, Everybody Wins! Iowa was awarded the 2019 Library of Congress State Literacy Award. This award is one of nine state awards, given nationally from the Library of Congress.
*On October 19, 2018, Everybody Wins! Iowa received the Iowa Literacy award from the Iowa Center for the Book on at the State Law Library. The award serves to recognize an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to increasing literacy in the state of Iowa.
*In 2018, Everybody Wins! Iowa was honored by United Way Central Iowa with their Impact Maker Award for Advocacy at the Live United luncheon on April 30, 2018.
*In 2017, Drew Gentsch was one of five individuals honored with the statewide Excellence in Mentoring Awards on February 3, 2017. Established in 2009, the Excellence in Mentoring Awards gives Iowa Mentoring Partnership (IMP) certified programs the opportunity to recognize outstanding long-time youth mentors. Drew was selected for his over 13 years of service as a mentor with Everybody Wins! Iowa and for exemplifying both the spirit and positive benefits of mentoring.

As a non-profit organization, we rely solely on individual donations, grants, corporate partnerships, fundraisers, and community volunteers to support our programming. We provide all of the necessary resources to ensure a smoothly run program including: a part-time paid staff member to organize the program on site, volunteer background checks, books for the program and student book giveaways, the purchase of a book cart, volunteer resources, administrative costs and evaluation. We don't want to burden the school or community site with having to provide resources for our program, which is why we bring everything needed to them (at no cost), and for that reason we seek funding to help our students and communities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, We've had high mobility of students served as well as in our entry level staffing

Financials

Everybody Wins! Iowa
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Everybody Wins! Iowa

Board of directors
as of 01/29/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Amanda Bjornson


Board co-chair

Amanda Ladd

Businessolver, Inc.

Term: 2015 - 2024

Amanda Bjornson

Principal Financial Group (retired)/Parent

Max Miller

McGowen Hurst Clark & Smith, PC

Amanda Ladd

Businessolver, Inc.

Mike Sheehy

John Deere Financial

Katie Jones

Iowa Department of Public Health

Rachel Simon

Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority

Tracy Petersen

Freelance Editor/Writer

Tyler Brommel

West Bank

Ken Chester

RoadWorthy Drive Productions Inc.

Valerie Gramlich

Principal Financial Group

Elizabeth Heffernan

Ahlers & Cooney, PLC

Kim Norvell

Des Moines Register

Betsy Noyes

Luke Roth

Myriad Advisor Solutions

Morgan Schultz

Ruan Transportation

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 02/25/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.