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September 18, 2020

Local literacy nonprofit welcomes five new advisory board members

Originally published on Patch

Reading Partners Baltimore expands advisory board to 14 members; increases board diversity

Reading Partners Baltimore, a children’s literacy nonprofit serving hundreds of elementary school students across the city, welcomed five new board members to its advisory board: Amy Miller, Brendan Regan, Brooke Harlander, Marla Johnson, and Reginald Benbow.

New members join an established and passionate board of Baltimore-area professionals just as Reading Partners Baltimore launches its new online tutoring program to support elementary students this fall.

“I am so excited to welcome our new board members who all share our deep passion to advance literacy and education in our city,” said Kris Caverly, advisory board chair. “They bring to our board their diversity of thought and networks that will accelerate our reach and impact for our Baltimore community.”

Reading Partners believes that everyone has a part to play in working to close the educational opportunity gap, and the Baltimore advisory board intentionally focused on growing the board to better reflect the diversity of both the students and the communities it serves. The new, expanded advisory board includes 46% women (including board chair Kris Caverly), 35% persons of color, and 43% with previous board experience.

“With these new additions to our advisory board, we have grown to fourteen members who wholeheartedly believe in the power of literacy to change students’ lives,” said Jeffrey Zwillenberg, Reading Partners Baltimore Executive Director. “I’m proud to have such a diverse, inclusive advisory board supporting our important work as we serve students this fall.”

Among the new advisory board members is Reginald Benbow, a senior associate with PricewatershouseCoopers.

“As a former teacher who taught a class of literacy to 6th graders, I know all too well the importance of literacy and that the earlier reading comprehension is established, the better,” said Reginald. “Reading Partners’ structured model of engagement and connecting volunteers with students moved me to serve. Baltimore students can’t have a lost year of learning, and I’m excited to see Reading Partners continue to serve students in this challenging environment.”

Reading Partners Baltimore will launch its new online tutoring program, Reading Partners Connects, in October, and will serve hundreds of elementary school students across 16 Baltimore City school partners during the 2020-21 school year.

To learn about Reading Partners Baltimore, including opportunities to contribute to the advisory board, visit


New Reading Partners Baltimore advisory board members:
Amy Miller—Project Manager, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Amy Miller is a Project Manager at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, responsible for managing projects from concept to delivery and facilitating teams to create world-class deliverables. Amy is a former elementary teacher, STEM resource, and mentor with Baltimore County schools. Amy’s passion for children and education drew her to Reading Partners Baltimore, and she is excited to see the nonprofit navigate COVID-19 challenges and support children as they continue their journey to become lifelong readers.

Brendan Regan—Director of Marketing and Messaging, Brown Advisory
Brendan Regan is the Director of Marketing and Messaging for Brown Advisory, an independent investment management firm. Upon learning about Reading Partners Baltimore, Brendan was inspired by its work and the tangible impact it has made within Baltimore City schools. Brendan sees the vital importance of improving literacy among children and looks forward to supporting Reading Partners Baltimore as it adapts to help students in a remote learning environment.

Brooke Harlander—Partner in Training, St. John Properties, Inc.
Brooke Harlander is a Partner in Training with St. John Properties, Inc., currently completing her four-year training program to become a Regional Partner. Brooke previously served as a Retail Leasing Representative for St. John Properties and held development positions with Sagamore Development. Brooke believes that every child should have access and the ability to embrace and experience reading and is excited to help support a program that is essential to developing and engaging the youth of Baltimore.

Marla Johnson—Magistrate, Maryland Judiciary, Baltimore City
Marla Johnson currently serves as a magistrate for the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Prior to her appointment, Marla worked as a trial lawyer in both the public and private sectors. Marla is passionate about volunteering within Baltimore City and looks forward to supporting an organization that helps children to succeed in school by inspiring a passion for reading and building self-confidence.

Reginald Benbow—Senior associate, PricewatershouseCoopers
Reginald Benbow is a senior associate and management consultant with PricewatershouseCoopers where he advises health care companies through transformation. He began his career as a teacher and Teach For America corps member teaching middle school science and social studies in Baltimore. Reginald is excited to support Reading Partners Baltimore, an organization that empowers students to not only learn in a structured way but also build relationships with community members.

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