How to Get Involved and Our Sponsors and Supporters

We have had the good fortune to have gotten involvement and support – financial and moral, as well as programmatic – for the Hillcrest Reading Program from a variety of sources, and we are sincerely and deeply thankful to all that have donated, time, effort, resources, and, of course, money to support our efforts. We formally thank all that have contributed to the Program a bit further down this page.

If you would like to get involved, as a tutor (see TUTOR APPLICATION form), volunteer (Click here for MAPS TO TUTORING LOCATIONS), or to provide support in any way, please contact any or all of the following people:

John Rice, Principal Investigator
Co-Founder of HRP

Martin Kozloff, Co-Principal Investigator
Co-Founder of HRP

Eric Irizarry,
Onsite Curriculum and Testing Director
Co-Founder of HRP

Jessica MacDonald, Onsite Program Coordinator

Kim Lancaster, WHA-UNCW Hillcrest Community Campus Coordinator

On behalf of the children, the tutors, and the research team, thank you very much, in advance, for anything you are willing to do to help the Hillcrest Reading Program.

Among those whose support we would like to acknowledge and for which we want to express our sincere gratitude, are the following people and organizations (They are presented in alphabetical order, except for the first entry [for what I think and hope are obvious reasons]):

Our tutors: As noted elsewhere on this site (See “About Us”), we recruited tutors from the
undergraduate population at UNCW, especially in the Department of Sociology and
Criminology and the Watson School of Education. On a Friday afternoon (September
19th), from 4:30-7:00, no less, 62 students (a couple of community residents attended,
as well) showed up to be trained in how to tutor in the 100 Easy Lessons program. For a
variety of reasons, not all of them wound up actually tutoring, but all were willing to
freely give their time and efforts to try to close the achievement gap in New Hanover
County Schools. We are completely indebted to, and profoundly thankful for our, as we
came to call them, “toots.” (You can “meet” many of them in the Photo Gallery section
of this web site.) Their unselfishness and commitment to the community is impressive
and highly admirable.

An Anonymous Donor (that for now wishes to remain anonymous) has made a substantial financial contribution to the Program. We are immensely grateful for that donation!

Dr. David Cordle, Dean of UNCW’s College of Arts and Sciences: Dean Cordle is a strong advocate of community engagement and hands-on learning experiences for students:
these are hallmarks of the Public Sociology program coordinated by my colleague, Dr.
Leslie Hossfeld (see below). David awarded the Reading Program a desperately-needed
financial contribution from the College’s Applied Learning Fund. The tutors in our
program are all UNCW students; all are getting first-hand, hands-on experience in how
applied research programs are designed and operate.

Dean Cordle

Dean David Cordle

Dr. Kim Cook, Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology: Kim has been a tireless
supporter of our efforts. She has visited the Program many times; invited Chancellor
DePaolo to come visit us; helped Associate Dean David Webster set up the room divider;
and frequently hugged and played with the kids in the program (she’s especially adept at
picking children up and turning them upside down, much to the kids’ delight).

Kim Cook

Dr. Kim Cook

Mr. Stephen Demski, UNCW’s Vice-Chancellor for Public Service: Steve has been instrumental in creating and finding support for the overarching WHA-UNCW partnership, and has also been a strong supporter of the Hillcrest Reading Program. He has visited the program to see what we’re doing; he also gave a short presentation to the Hillcrest parents at our semester-ending Holiday Party, telling them about UNCW’s innovative Project SOAR,
which is aimed at helping young people, without the financial resources to go to college,
get a college education cost-free. 

Steve Demski and Carrington

Steve Demski, talking with Carrington about college

Dr. Rosemary DePaolo, UNCW’s Chancellor: She, along with a number of people from both
Wilmington Housing Authority and UNCW, established the partnership between WHA
and UNCW, making the Hillcrest Campus possible. Without the partnership and the
campus, the Reading Program would have been much harder to establish. She has also
provided invaluable moral support and helped to ensure that the Program could get
space on UNCW’s web server, so that this web site could be created.

Dr. DePaolo

Dr. Rosemary DePaolo

Ms. Hannah Gage, Chairwoman of the Board of Governors, UNC System: Ms. Gage visited Hillcrest with Chancellor DePaolo on December 10th. In addition to lauding the Program and our efforts, she brought delicious Christmas cookies as a special treat for the children.
Needless to say, the children were more than appreciative: they loved the cookies.

Hannah Gage Rosemary DePaolo  and Raven Bruno

Dr. DePaolo (L) and Ms. Gage (R) watching Raven tutor two of our children

Dr. Leslie Hossfeld, Associate Professor of Sociology; Coordinator, Public Sociology Program; Co- Director, Master’s in Criminology and Public Sociology Program: Leslie was instrumental in the years’-long efforts to create the WHA-UNCW Partnership and the Hillcrest
Campus. She works tirelessly and very successfully at fostering University-Community
engagement. She was also invaluable in helping us establish the Reading Program at
Hillcrest. Her undergraduate students in public sociology are tutors in the Program, and
two essential members of the Research Team – Jess MacDonald and Raven Bruno – are
Public Sociology students in the Master’s in Criminology and Public Sociology Program.

Leslie Hossfeld

Dr. Leslie Hossfeld (L), talking with Hillcrest parent

Sylvia and Wilbur Mintz of Wilmington made a financial contribution to the Reading Program. Thank you!

Roger Bacon Academy (RBA) – Mr. Baker Mitchell, founder; Mr. Mark Cramer, headmaster; Mr. Cary Andrews, teacher and Direct Instruction expert, nonpareil. Marty Kozloff, Eric
Irizarry (who did his Master’s in School Administration internship at RBA, in the fall 2008
semester), and I met with Baker, Mark, and Cary in August of 2008. We told them about
our plans for the Hillcrest Reading Program. They immediately offered their support and
invaluable expertise: RBA has a solely Direct Instruction curriculum, and Cary Andrews is
one of the leading experts on Direct Instruction. He volunteered his time to do the
three-hour long training for our tutors.  RBA also helped us with testing materials, with
logistical and curricular advice, and shared their expertise freely throughout the first
semester of the Program. Cary has agreed to do the training session for new tutors on
January 28, 2009, and to help us with some shorter workshops to firm up and
strengthen our tutors’ skills this semester. We cannot thank Baker, Mark, and Cary
enough for their support and collegiality.

John H Shaw's Sons Funeral Home
520 Redcross St
North Carolina 28401
Phone: (910) 762-2635

Southeast North Carolina Food Bank: As a partner agency, the Food Bank has enabled us to
provide healthy after-school snacks for the children in the Program. We have an all-but
limitless supply of life water, thanks to them. By far the biggest hit with the children,
however, has been the dill pickles we’ve been able to buy by the case at very low cost.
Visit the Food Bank online at

Dr. David Webster, Associate Dean, CAS: David has been instrumental in getting us physical
resources for the Hillcrest campus, including, but not limited to, a much-needed room
divider and a microwave oven. Not only did he procure the room divider, he installed it!
It is quite a sight to see an Associate Dean, in coat and tie, no less, walk in, pull out his
power tools and assemble and install a large, heavy room divider (with Kim Cook’s
invaluable assistance). In addition, David has offered moral support, and was the
Program photographer at the Holiday Party.

David Webster

Dr. David Webster


UNC Wilmington | 601 S. College Road, Wilmington NC 28403 | 910.962.3000 | About this Site | Copyright Notice | Feedback | Page maintained by:  J. Rice [ ricej AT uncw DOT edu ]