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About Us


From students, tutors, parents, and school administrators, the H.U.G. Reading Program has impacted the lives of many. Our program has given students the capabilities to read at higher levels and our tutors have developed a sense of happiness and generosity from helping our program's students. But don't just take our word for it; scroll down below for testimonials about the proven success of our program!

Rylen W.

Student at JB Atkinson Elementary

What I like about HUG is I used to be kind of a bad reader and, once I joined this (the HUG Reading Program), I got better at reading. I like reading now.

Brad Maudlin

Kroger Division Manager in Retail Operations
Tutor at HUG for 3 years

The weekly reading development and word understanding of HUG students is amazing! Being a HUG volunteer for 3 years has been an exceptionally rewarding experience for me and I would highly recommend getting involved and “Making a Difference” for these wonderful children.

Ashley Byerley

Instructional Coach at Old Mill Elementary

The individualized program meets the needs of some of our most striving learners while also integrating social-emotional skills needed to achieve more and become productive citizens. Our students always look forward to the tutoring sessions and have grown over the last several years. 

Virgin Jimenez

Instructional Coach at UCP Pine Hills Elementary

In my role in UCP-Pine Hills as MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) and Instructional Coach, I have experienced the benefit of incorporating to HUG reading program into class instruction. The HUG program provides weekly individual tutoring sessions to increase students' reading proficiency. Also, they are targeting three essential skills: vocabulary, decoding, and reading comprehension. The partnership with the HUG program and UCP-Pine Hills has been an enriching experience.

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Andrea Russo

H.U.G. Onsite Specialist for Old Mills Elementary

[The students] are so excited to come to that room. They are WILD when they leave, they are just pumped up. But I think you guys do a really great job at the beginning of the program, you give away all of these things; it sets off something in them where they are excited to come in every week. And everybody is happy I never see anybody that is bummed to be there. I have never seen anybody but a happy child to be in that room.

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Yuliana Atchison

H.U.G. Tutor

Tutoring at HUG can really make a difference in a child’s life. I witnessed it first hand working with Alizon. The greatest thing is that she was so proud of her incredible progress and loved how her mother appraised her hard work, which was also important to keep her motivated. My heart felt so happy to see how her love for reading grew more and more and how her reading skills quickly improved every day.  Can’t wait to do it again.

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Wanda Long

University of Louisville teacher, long-time H.U.G. Tutor 

I really enjoy working with the students and see when they are excited about their reading progress.

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Cheryl Furlong

H.U.G. Tutor

H.U.G. students are enthusiastic to learn and enjoy the reading lesson plans. They enjoy the games at after their reading lessons. Besides the value of reading with children, the children seem to value sharing personal experiences and enjoy the tutors taking a one-on-one personal interest in them.

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John Coleman

H.U.G. Tutor

Studies have indicated that service to others is at the very heart of creating meaning and purpose in one’s life. When we serve others we feel more fulfilled, happy, motivated, and engaged.

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Karen Liebert-German

School Reading Specialist at Mt. Washington Elementary

The kids are excited about being here, they look forward to it. When you have the kids one-on-one, you have their undivided attention. We’ve seen growth in the kids and I think that’s with everybody and everything working together for these children.

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Ami Lindsey

H.U.G. Onsite Specialist for Mt. Washington Elementary and Nichols Elementary

When I first came in I see a couple of them [students] struggling, and now I find that it is easier for them. I think that they enjoy being there.

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Jim Gravitt

H.U.G. Tutor for 2 years

The H.U.G. process follows a standard format and is easy to follow and learn. H.U.G. helps me personally by allowing me to interact with students who need practice reading. This allows me to give back because it is important for young students to learn how to read proficiently at grade level. Reading proficiency is a key indicator of future academic success and success in life generally.


Jordyn Anthony

University of Louisville student, H.U.G. Tutor

H.U.G. offers one-on-one teaching with children, which is something that I had never experienced before. I thought it allowed the student and the mentor to create a bond that expanded the learning beyond just reading.

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Jakai Wade

University of South Florida student, H.U.G. Tutor 

H.U.G. is a great program. As a college student, I get to help the next generation grow and improve in their ability to read. I also get to show them that reading is a wonderful way to explore new worlds.

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Prashant Gravitt

H.U.G. Tutor

Because of the pandemic, even MORE kids now need help learning. I'm really glad that the H.U.G program allows First Responders like myself to be part of that!

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Norma Mattingly

H.U.G. Tutor

Being a H.U.G. Tutor is one of the most rewarding things I've done. I encourage anyone who has the capability to consider reading with a student!

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Anne Marie Landry

Principal for Nichols Elementary 

Thank you so much for a great experience!  We have seen growth in all of our students who participated. I am looking forward to our continued partnership next year.

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Vickie Wieland

Long-time H.U.G. tutor

When I retired, I played "school-time" with each of my grandkids until they were school-age. They are big kids now, so I was getting bored. I wanted to do something to serve in my community. I heard about the HUG reading program and decided to volunteer. I enjoyed my one year of tutoring a HUG student in person. Now, HUG tutoring has gone virtual. I didn't think I would like it, but I was wrong. If you have Zoomed for any reason in the last few years, this will feel familiar. You go into a Zoom breakout room with your student and follow the lesson process just like you would in person. I was surprised at how quickly my student and I built a good, working relationship. The students enjoy the lessons, gain confidence, learn new vocabulary, and improve their reading comprehension. The HUG people will help you learn the technology part and the lesson process. It isn't hard. I know you will enjoy working with the children. You won't be bored.You can do this! Come join us at HUG. We have a student who needs YOU!

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Simona Piro

First Republic Bank Team, H.U.G. Tutor

HUG has been great with providing us with all the necessary training and information to get through all the lessons smoothly. The 2nd grader we tutor, Ezekiel, is a great reader and is a lot of fun to work with. We feel that the HUG coordinators are very helpful, communicative, and responsive. I would recommend HUG to someone who is looking to join a volunteer program because it is convenient that it is over Zoom and easy to learn how to be a tutor for these kids. Thank you for the opportunity!

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Shelby Haarman

University of Louisville student, H.U.G. Tutor 

I originally joined H.U.G. as a class assignment. I can’t wait to join H.U.G. as a volunteer. Watching the excitement for reading has become a huge motivator and I look forward to meeting with them each week!

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Ashley Byerley

Instructional Coach at Old Mills Elementary

The H.U.G. program has provided another layer of support for our students post-pandemic. The individualized program meets the needs of some of our most striving learners while also integrating social-emotional skills needed to achieve more and become productive citizens. Our students always look forward to the tutoring sessions and have grown over the last several years. We are thankful H.U.G. took an interest in Old Mill Elementary, because it takes a village to raise a child. 

We have targeted students that need an extra bump to proficiency. Old Mill Elementary has received enormous support from the H.U.G. program and teachers and parents could not be happier. In addition, students look forward to working with their tutor each week! Most of all, our students have shown increased confidence and want to take leadership roles within the classroom. Students are reading more fluently and have shown improvement in comprehension.

Ashley Byerley's Testimonial
Children Reading the Holy Bible
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