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November 8, 2013

Corporate professionals, volunteers partner to provide tutoring at Sunnyvale school

by Alia Wilson

It’s as simple as spending an hour each week to tutor a child.

Under the 1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds program, several volunteers from the Silicon Valley office of KPMG–an audit, tax and advisory firm–are working to help children at Sunnyvale’s San Miguel Elementary School improve their reading skills.

The program was launched to connect 1,000 caring adults with 1,000 K-8 students to improve their literacy, math and science skills.

This school year, KPMG volunteers are picking up where they left off before the summer, working during and after school in sessions run by the nonprofit Reading Partners.

“The people of KPMG’s Silicon Valley office are truly excited about the opportunity to participate in 1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds to help students at San Miguel Elementary School,” KPMG Silicon Valley managing partner and San Miguel tutor Tim Zanni said in a press release. “There’s no greater satisfaction knowing that you helped a child learn, which can build their self-esteem and confidence.”

A joint effort by San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo and Silicon Valley Leadership Group president and CEO Carl Guardino, 1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds has reading volunteers in the program and complete training from Reading Partners, a nonprofit literacy organization that recruits and trains community volunteers to provide one-on-one reading tutoring to students in under-resourced schools across the country.

“I feel that the partnerships between corporate professionals and local volunteer organizations, such as Reading Partners, has strengthened the communities in which we live, study and work,” said Mabel Platon, senior site coordinator for Reading Partners. “The volunteers bring new perspectives and creative energy to the Reading Partners classroom at San Miguel, and the students are benefiting from it.”

Jennifer Lindsay, KPMG partner in charge of corporate responsibility, said they hope to be able to work at San Miguel as long as there’s a need.

“We started past the halfway point in the last academic year, but we were still able to make an impact,” Lindsay said. “The vast majority of students with tutors on a weekly basis showed significant enhancement in accelerated learning and narrowed their achievement gap and that was just for three or four months. This year, we are starting at the beginning of the year and are expecting an even bigger impact with tutoring.”

For more information about 1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds, visit or to learn more about Reading Partners, visit

Source / San Jose Mercury News / In the “My Town > Story” section

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