Mother Goose Read to Me
Mother Goose: Read to Me (Corporation) is a non-profit with the goal of reaching as many parents as possible to explain the importance of reading to young children as a way to boost their literacy in preparation for school.
Mother Goose: Read to Me was the brainchild of Sandra Zuchero. Sandy spent her career as a Special Education teacher for the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit and the Pottstown School District, having been awarded the distinction of Teacher of the Year (Middle School) and the Co-Teacher of the Year.
In 2003, Sandy read an article entitled The Early Catastrophe in American Educator. The researchers observed that the average child on welfare was hearing 616 words per hour; middle-class children heard 1,251 words per hour, while children of professional families heard 2,153 words per hour. It was the researcher's belief that those differences could account for the difference in the rate of vocabulary acquisition and hence impact eventual reading comprehension.
It was Sandy's idea to find a way to increase the number of words that children from low economic homes hear---beginning at infancy. Her plan was to train young mothers in ways to increase the number of words their children hear. Using simple picture books, she wanted to encourage and teach mothers how to interact with their very young children, thus exposing the child to a new and ever expanding vocabulary.
Sandy started, with the help of fellow educators, Mother Goose: Read to Me. Sandy died in November 2015, but her legacy remains with Mother Goose: Read to Me.
Board of Directors
Paula is a retired teacher from Boyertown Area School District. She previously was a Special Education teacher for Montgomery County Intermediate Unit. She is married and the mother of three grown children. She is currently a volunteer with Mother Goose Read to Me and acts as the New Partner Coordinator.
Brian is a financial advisor with over 18 years of experience in the financial services industry and works for Wealth Enhancement Group in Malvern, PA. Brian resides with his wife and two daughters in Norristown, PA. He is one of the organizers of the “Rich Nocella Memorial Golf Outing,” a tournament organized to continue the legacy of Rich Nocella. The proceeds from this annual event have been donated to various non-profit organizations that assist children in need, including Mother Goose: Read to Me. In 2012, Brian was the recipient of the Youth Consultation Service (YCS) Recognition Award for his level of commitment to the children of YCS.
R. Kurtz "Kurt" Holloway retired in 2022 from the practice of law after 45 years. He lives in Lower Pottsgrove Township with his wife Sharon. As friends of Sandy and John Zuchero, Kurt and Sharon often heard Sandy speak of her dream of helping parents begin the process of teaching their children by reading to them as infants. As an advocate for advancing education, Kurt tutored for a number of years in an adult literacy program and still tutors students at Pottstown's Barth Elementary School. He believes that the mission of Mother Goose Read to Me focuses on the "key" to advancing every child's education. Kurt is our Board Treasurer.
Sharon taught in the public school system for over 34 years. She taught at all grade levels as a special education teacher and worked as an instructional support teacher and intervention reading specialist at the elementary level. Besides volunteering at local social agencies, Sharon is our Board President.
Connie is a retired elementary teacher having taught for 37 years. She started her career in Conewago Valley School District and retired from Boyertown Area School District. Connie, who enjoys the love of reading herself, values the importance of introducing children to books at an early age. Even in infancy children respond to books and the sound of people reading to them. Being involved in Mother Goose Read To Me is a wonderful opportunity to share that joy. Besides volunteering at local service agencies, Connie is our New Book Coordinator.
Leslie is the PEAK Family Engagement Coordinator with Family Services of Montgomery County. She is currently serving on both the Board of Directors at Creative Health and Mother Goose: Read to Me. Leslie was the Youth Director and Interim Co-Executive Director in a public library. Her experience at the office of the former First Lady Michele Ridge at the PA Governor's residence and WHYY public broadcasting station instilled a passion for empowering families to reach their full potential through literacy, opportunities, and education. Leslie is our Vice-President.
John began his career as a Life Science/Biology teacher. Transitioning to the business world he worked as a technical writer and trainer. In 2006 he started Zuchero Communications, which developed online training solutions for technology and healthcare companies. He retired in 2013. John acts as the Secretary and Fundraising Coordinator.
"Thank you once again for the infant and preschool books that you provided. I had the pleasure of reading one of them to an 8-month old baby today. I love the fact that we can provide them with something so good for them that they enjoy so much."
Director, Birthright of Pottstown