A Caring Adult Developed a New Vocation

By Eric Steckel | May 1, 2023

You Helped a Retired Nurse Reconnect With Her Love of Teaching

Thanks to you, Iyana has found a new vocation, Bryanna has a caring tutor, and two young girls are learning to read.

For first-year Succeeding by Reading volunteer tutor Iyana Amayani, an invitation from a neighbor was all it took. She was gardening one day last Summer when Henrietta Fabio, a Children Rising board member, invited her to tutor.

“I’d been retired from nursing since 2018, kind of doing nothing. It was good timing—I was just ready.” Teaching was always close to her heart, and she was ready for a new chapter.  “My energy’s still there. I’m still alive, I still have stuff to share. All that I have—my skills, my talent, I can still use it for the children.”

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Through one-on-one reading and math tutoring, and family support, you will nurture an eager child in a circle of care so they may succeed in school.

Relating with the kids

Miss Iyana took to the children immediately, forging caring, nurturing relationships with the two students she tutors twice a week. One student, Bryanna*, has an overabundance of “creative” energy. “I could relate because I still have it a bit if I sit too long. We just bonded right away because I understand.”

“My energy’s still there. I’m still alive, I still have stuff to share. All that I have—my skills, my talent, I can still use it for the children.”
Miss Iyana and Bridget dancing.

Celebrating Bridget, dancing her way to moving to the yellow zone!

One day, she and Bryana did jumping jacks to help get the wiggles out. “I remember at training, Miss Rebecca said, ‘Don’t be afraid. Whatever the kids want, go with them.’”

Iyana is enthusiastic about her role and the progress she sees in her kids. “Just this week, Bryanna recognized patterns in reading a book, something that we had worked on before. As she was reading, she stopped, looked up at me, and proudly said, ‘A pattern!’ My mouth dropped.”

Bryanna has also begun to grasp phonemic awareness, part of SbR’s structured science of reading approach. “Now Bryanna will see a word like “my”—M-Y—and she’s using the phonics that I taught her.”

There’s also an element of legacy to the work Iyana does with her kids. “Because I don’t have my own children, I want to help leave something behind, doing some good for all the children. So they’re all my children!” She said, laughing.

Thanks to your gifts, Iyana has reconnected with her passion for teaching and developed a new vocation—and Bryana receives the extra support she needs to learn to read.

Yes, I can empower a child to become a lifelong learner.

 I want to learn more about online reading or math clinics to see if tutoring is right for me!

I want to help fund Children Rising tutoring and mentoring programs to empower more children this year!


* Children Rising respects the privacy of our students. While all the stories we share are genuine and true, we change names as needed to protect student privacy.

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