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Reading Legacies News

L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Recognizes Betty Mohlenbrock, Founder of Reading Legacies

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San Diego resident Betty Mohlenbrock has been selected as one of the 2018 Women of Worth Honorees by L’Oréal Paris for her outstanding work with Reading Legacies. This is a non-profit organization committed to empowering children and youth in underserved, low-income areas and/or those who have incarcerated parents or family members through intergenerational shared-reading experiences. Betty is one of 10 women in the country to receive the prestigious Women of Worth award this year, for her charitable efforts and perseverance in making a difference in the community.

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Betty J. Mohlenbrock, M.Ed. nominated for the San Diego Military Advisory Council’s (SDMAC) Nancy Dix, Esq. Community Achievement Award

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In March, Reading Legacies’ Founder and President, Betty J. Mohlenbrock, M.Ed. was nominated for the San Diego Military Advisory Council’s (SDMAC) Nancy Dix, Esq. Community Achievement Award (Civilian Individual). This award recognizes individuals and organizations that go above and beyond established mission charters or statements in serving the San Diego-area military and civilian communities. Betty was nominated for her work while leading her first non-profit, United Through Reading.

Betty’s vision of providing ALL children the opportunity to improve their reading skills, increase their self-esteem and build strong, healthy relationships with their family and community through the shared-reading experience is still going strong today at Reading Legacies. Congratulations, Betty, for the nomination and for the courage to continue your work on behalf of the most at-risk populations in our society.


Betty Mohlenbrock featured on “Rise Up Radio”

Reading Legacies Founder Betty Mohlenbrock was a guest on Rise Up Radio. This episode features both Betty and well-known author Ken Blanchard. To hear Betty’s portion of the interview, you can advance to the 30:45 point in the program.


SDUSD Stories: Hoover High students making a difference through reading

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The San Diego Unified School District highlighted its partnership with Reading Legacies in a recent posting in “SDUSD Stories.” The story talks about the value of student volunteers in reading with young students.

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Reading Legacies Salutes Patriots Day

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Reading Legacies’ Board members, Eric Manese and Betty Mohlenbrock, along with Bill Mohlenbrock attended the Patriot’s Day event in Rancho Santa Fe. The event honored military veterans through a musician telling their personal stories through musical ballads.

Photo courtesy of the Ranch San Diego Review.


Reading Legacies President Betty Mohlenbrock Nominated for San Diego Magazine 2016 Woman of the Year

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Reading Legacies President Betty Mohlenbrock has been selected as a qualified nominee for San Diego Magazine’s 2016 Woman of the Year. A ceremony announcing the final selection will take place Wednesday September 28, 2016 in La Jolla.

San Diego Magazine’s Celebrating Women event is an evening to honor all of the dynamic women in our city committed to creating positive change. A networking hour kicks-off the event with hosted bites and beverages followed by an inspirational discussion with women from various business sectors. Get inspired by their success stories and advice as we tackle the issues that face professional women in San Diego. The evening will culminate with the ceremony announcing special award winners and the Woman of the Year.

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Reading Legacies Program growing at Las Colinas Detention Reentry Facility for Women

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We are happy to announce that we are starting our Re-entry Program (six-session program) at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility. This program initially started connecting families at East Mesa Reentry Facility. This six-session program, over a period of three months, gives parents the unique opportunity to connect with their children (and family) prior to returning home. Parents committed to this program create a read-aloud DVD for their child(ren) at home in each session, and send them home along with a new children’s books, each time.


Congressional Medal of Honor Awarded to our Founder and her first organization – United Through Reading

United Through Reading receives the Congressional Medal of Honor Citizen Honor Award

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society announced its 2016 Citizen Honors Award winners. Five awardees were selected for their acts of courage or selfless service, including The Congressional Medal of Honor Society Community Service Hero Award to United Through Reading (UTR) based in San Diego. Founded by Betty Mohlenbrock 28 years ago, UTR was selected for its innovative and grassroots response to a critical need in the armed forces community, their exceptional international impact on military families, and demonstrating the impact of one person’s courageous transformative vision and actions. They were recognized in a ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery on National Medal of Honor Day, Friday, March 25, 2016.

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Reading Legacies graduates 9 dads from program at East Mesa Reentry Facility

Our participants receiving a certificate of recognition for their commitment to our Re-entry Program (six-session program) and their children.

Quotes from Participants:

“I thank you all for giving me the opportunity to reconnect with my boy and my family. I still am camera shy. [My boy] is 3, his name is Salvador. This was real cool thing for Christmas, holidays, Thanksgiving. He bugs my girl about [watching] the video every day. Thank you.”

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Youth Reading Role Models Honored

Students receiving a certificate of recognition at the end of semester celebration thanking them for giving back to their community and for their commitment to the children and our program.

Pictured are Hoover High School Youth Reading Role Models, Hoover Vice Principal & Teacher and Community Coordinators, Barbara and Joyce.



Reading Legacies Volunteer leads program at Correctional Corporation of America facility by border in San Diego County
Reprinted from CCA.com

Judy is a survivor. After coming through both a cancer diagnosis and the death of her husband within a year, Judy was determined to give back. That determination ultimately lead her to the Reading Legacies program at CCA San Diego Correctional Facility in San Diego, Calif.

“I love reading, I love kids and I love family, so a program that pulls all three together was perfect for me,” Judy said.

The Reading Legacies program allows incarcerated parents to record themselves on DVD reading a story for a child at home, providing a unique way to maintain their special bond.

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Important Research regarding reading programs for incarcerated family members

Research has demonstrated that parents’ involvement with their children’s educational activities, particularly reading, translates into increased interest and, ultimately, achievement in school. For incarcerated parents, reading programs provide an opportunity to reestablish parental roles, reassure the children of their continued love, and encourage the children’s reading behavior. For the children of incarcerated parents, such reading programs stimulate interest in reading, which is a necessary precursor to reading achievement and, ultimately, academic success. Thus, prison reading programs feed two birds with one seed by benefiting inmates and their children in numerous ways.

“The Family Connections program offered by Reading Legacies is a popular, promising program for incarcerated parents and their children.”

Daniel M. Blumberg & Dawn A. Griffin (2013) “Family Connections: The Importance of Prison Reading Programs for Incarcerated Parents and Their Children”
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 52:4, page 265

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