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  • Writer's pictureBenay Hicks

Full Circle Coaching

April 14, 2022 | By Benay Hicks

This is a story of two Book Harvest employees and how they have coached each other as moms and education professionals.

Meet Alisa

Alisa, Book Babies Literacy Coach

Alisa’s Son, Zachary, 2018

Alisa and her son, Zachary (age 4), have been part of the Book Babies program since Zachary was born. Book Babies is Book Harvest’s literacy coaching program that begins when a baby is born and is sustained for five years. Zachary has nearly completed the program and will be one of the 49 Book Babies graduates this May!

Not only is Alisa a Book Babies mom, she became a Book Babies Literacy Coach in 2021. Her background in education and firsthand knowledge of the Book Babies program made her a perfect fit for the role.

Meet Wilma

Wilma has been a Book Harvest employee since September 2019 and is our Pre-K/K Transition Coach. She provides individualized pre-k/k transition support to our Book Babies families as they navigate the school system.

Wilma, Book Harvest PreK/K Transition Coach

Wilma is also the mom of two little girls, one of whom –newborn, Ruby – just became one of our newest Book Babies!

When asked why she chose to enroll her daughter into Book Babies, Wilma said “Professionally, I know that the foundations of literacy start even before birth; Book Babies enrolls babies at birth and encourages parents to read with their babies. But something I hadn’t done before Book Babies was dedicated time reading to my newborn! She had been sitting in on reading time with her big sister but having dedicated time for her – having a routine for Ruby – is not something we had really thought about. We are trying to incorporate more reading that is just for her with board books she can grab and mouth on. And there are perks beyond books and reading like a community of families whose children are the same age, the Museum of Life and Science membership, and Book Babies Bright Futures account.”

When the Coached Becomes the Coach, and the Coach Becomes the Coached

When Zachary turned 4 last year, Alisa worked with Wilma to help navigate the pre-k/k enrollment process. Wilma coached them through the transition into pre-k, and is currently providing them with individualized support as they get ready for Zachary’s next step: kindergarten.

Wilma’s Daughter, Ruby

When Wilma had little Ruby and enrolled her in Book Babies in January, Alisa became Wilma’s literacy coach! “Alisa is a warm and sympathetic coach. I know she can relate to being a parent with a busy work life and also wanting to create impactful experiences for our kids. She’s been there, done that, so I trust and value her advice and support,” said Wilma.

When asked how she plans to coach Wilma and Sam through Ruby’s tenure with the program, Alisa said, “As I do with all my families I plan to listen, let her know how awesome she is doing reading with Ruby, and uplift her with suggestions and encouragement where she and husband Sam feel like they need extra help.”

All in the Family

Both Wilma and Alisa are happy with the circle of coaching. “I love the fact we get to know each other while wearing different hats all at the same time,” said Alisa. “I get to watch Ruby grow through the Book Babies program and Wilma watches Zachary transition out of the program and into school. I love that it’s a family affair.”

“Alisa is a BB mom, she is a colleague, and she is also a neighbor! I love how connected our Book Babies community is. Every time I support families through these transitions I learn something new about the Durham and the BB community,” commented Wilma.

“Wilma is so easy going, as I am. We get to laugh and share stories about our kids. At the end of the day we are just two moms who want the best for our children who happen to coach one another through literacy,” said Alisa.


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