Join us in celebrating Kristin Burrage’s and Sam Iannarelli’s 2-Year RBBB Anniversaries!
Tell us about your role and your background.
Kristin: “I am currently a Lead Program Coach, running a site and assisting with various projects. I started with Read Better Be Better 2 years ago to gain classroom experience and am currently in college at Glendale Community College pursuing a degree in Elementary Education, so it was a perfect fit!”
Sam: “I started off in 2020 as a Site Leader, now known as Program Coach, in the Creighton Elementary School District. When COVID hit, all the sites shut down and we began working on how to transition our program to be done at-home. I participated a lot in the building of our RBBB At Home program and RBBB Literacy Kits. I then became an At Home Program Coach for two semesters, making calls to caregivers on a weekly basis. In 2021, we went back in-person for the first time for summer program and I got to be in a school with the kids again! During this time, I also transitioned into the Lead Program Coach role, assisting the executive team and doing more work in our main office while running sites during the Fall 2021 semester.”
What excites you the most about your job?
Kristin: “Working with the kids and my awesome co-workers!”
Sam: “The thing that excites me most about my job is seeing the kids’ growth. I have personally been able to witness so much change in these children in such a short amount of time. It is great to get to know the students, see them change, and hear the success not only from themselves, but from their teachers and caregivers.”
How do you prefer to start your day? End your day?
Kristin: “I prefer to start my day after 9 hours of sleep and a cup of coffee. In the evening I like to watch TV to wind down.”
Sam: “Always start the day with coffee! I end my day by doing something relaxing, whether it is reading a book, playing a game, or watching a movie.”
What energizes you?
Kristin: “My dedication and drive to succeed!”
Sam: “Working with a great group of people energizes me and motivates me to keep trying harder and to do my best.”
What is something that surprised you about working at RBBB?
Kristin: “The amount of work every department has! There is a lot of moving parts and more happening behind-the-scenes than I realized!”
Sam: “The community aspect of working at RBBB is something that surprised me. I know that I could go to anyone on the team with an issue and they would do their best to help me out. The staff as a whole really values supporting their team members.”
What is something you have learned in the past two years that you might not have working somewhere else?
Kristin: “So many things! The work is incredibly rewarding. I learned how much the children need us, and that we make a difference in their lives. The organization as a whole values me and genuinely cares.”
Sam: “I learned how to be a patient leader. I may have learned leadership skills in any other job, but this job really taught me how to be calm, collected, and patient with the groups we work with.”
What is the best book you have read in the past two years?
Sam: “The best book I’ve read in the past two years was ‘A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes’ by Suzanne Collins. It is the prequel to the ‘Hunger Games’ series, which I first read in middle school, so I was very excited for this book and it exceeded all my expectations.”
What are your professional goals for the next two years?
Sam: “My professional goals for the next two years are to continue learning as much as I can in the role that I am in and to continue my schooling to obtain a Psy.D [Doctor of Psychology].”
Cheers to the two of you! You have done amazing work for Read Better Be Better over the past two years, and we are all grateful to call you our coworkers!