Angela Cerota is proof that you don't have to be an educator to become a satisfied, successful BookMate. Angela has a background in both her career and volunteer work as a sales manager, a fundraiser, and an active committee member. She has not worked with children, but has raised two, now adult, boys. Born In Italy, Angela was brought to this country by her parents and didn’t speak one word of English when she started school. She can certainly relate to the challenging experiences of some youngsters in our program. She was the new kid in the class and the one whose English was not her family’s primary language.
“Passionate about literacy and kids,” Angela was very excited to begin the school year as a BookMate in a kindergarten class at Dudley Elementary School in Camden. She approached her responsibilities with an “open heart.” The kindergarten youngsters seemed to know Angel “wants them to get all the love and attention they need’ as the whole class was instantly drawn to her.Everybody wanted to read with her.
One young girl, who is a regular, was very far behind when they started. She did not know or recognize any letters of the alphabet. Angela happily reports a “drastic improvement” in her skills and abilities. Angela has a number of other youngsters that rotate through the second half hour of her weekly visits. She also occasionally reads to the whole class.
Very pleased with her experiences at Dudley school, Angela praises the wonderful classroom teachers, the positive environment and the well behaved children. As many of our BookMates report, Angela also feels, “I did it to help them, but have gotten way more than I expected.” Will she be repeating the experience next year? She will indeed. She will be happy to be placed at Dudley or wherever BookMates Director Rhoda Shevrin has a need. And although Rhonda doesn’t know it yet, Angela has recruited a newly retired friend to become a BookMate for the next school year.