On Wednesday, September 8, LINC parents and staff came together to honor the newest class of Queens Very Involved Parents (VIPs). The morning was filled with families eating, laughing, catching up, and swapping stories about how LINC has impacted their lives.
“I’m really glad that organizations like LINC exist because they have really great ideas about how to engage the kids. I did what I learned from LINC and read to my child 20 minutes a day. She went from not reading to reading level 2 books in 90 days,” VIP Deon Daniels said to a VIP couple seated across from her.
Each of the VIPs gave heartfelt speeches about the importance of early literacy in their families and shared their gratitude for the people who helped bring them into LINC. One name that came up again and again was VIP Reishmi Brijmohan.
"I would like to say thank you to Reishmi. I was inspired for a long time by her but actually I was working full time. I never got a chance to [participate] but because of Covid I was off. I had the opportunity so I grabbed it. I went to LINC programs during Covid and I loved it." - VIP Shauawana Ramnaryan
"Without Reishmi I would not be here today, so thank you to her...reading to kids is something nice that I do for my kids and to share that with someone else's kids - I love to do it!" - VIP Alicia Gomes
Reishmi attended her first LINC program over 8 years ago, completed her VIP training in 2016 and is now a literacy leader in her neighborhood of South Jamaica Queens. Being involved with LINC helped her discover her passion of working with children. Through the encouragement of LINC staff and support from her child’s school she landed a job at the Child Center of New York and became the PTA President at P.S. 160. She thanked staff members Demelza Wilson, Beverley Philips, Karen Rogel, and Jessica Rogel for their constant encouragement and expressed love to the community of Queens VIPs that she helped form.
“I want to thank Ms. [Demelza] Wilson for encouraging me and telling me you’re going to be a PTA President,” Reishmi said standing in front of P.S. 160 at the graduation. “I know I’ll never be her but still I’m going to try! And to all these wonderful VIPs...I encouraged all of them to be here and I'm so proud of all of them...especially Shauawan who was scared and said 'I'm not gonna do this.' I said 'No, you ARE gonna do this.' And now she's going to be my Vice President for PS 160.”
This September Reishmi joined LINC staff and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her to the team. We look forward to her continued impact on parents in her community through her new role as the Parent Engagement Coordinator of South Jamaica Queens.
LINC’s Very Involved Parent Academy celebrates our parents who wish to take a greater role in shaping the future of their communities. The online Very Involved Parent Academy course accepts any parent or guardian 18 years or older. Each online course focuses on read alouds, PTA information, and methods to organize early literacy events in their areas. Further courses offer professional development in Excel, public speaking, and community organization.
If you would like to join VIP or know a parent or guardian who might be interested in learning through VIP, please sign up online for a VIP Academy. For any inquiries about VIP firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.