Faces of Success: Lauren Bunch
Ambere Bunch has been passionate about children and education for as long as she can remember. Her passion was first ignited when she was a pre-school teacher’s assistant in 2001. Fifteen years later, it continues with her involvement in United Way’s Read to Succeed program.
“I saw this as an opportunity to serve children and help them prepare for kindergarten,” she said.
Bunch is currently an instructional coach at the Nashville Child Center. Her daughter Lauren attended a different childcare facility when she first started working at the Read to Succeed site last year. As she learned more about the Read to Succeed program — a comprehensive early literacy program that provides at-risk children with the basic reading readiness skills to prepare them for future educational success — Bunch knew she had to enroll Lauren.
“It’s my job to research best practices and equip teachers with everything they need to help their students succeed. Once I became more familiar with this program’s curriculum, I knew it would help Lauren grow.”
Read to Succeed utilizes components like research-based curricula, highly qualified instructional coaches, parental engagement and lending libraries to build and strengthen the educational foundations of the students enrolled in the program. These elements contribute to the educational gains of graduates that extend well beyond their time in the program. Bunch is amazed at the growth her daughter has already experienced during her first year in a Read to Succeed classroom.
“We conducted our spring assessment a couple of weeks ago. It had 25 questions that focused on categories like beginning sounds, alphabet recognition and rhyming. Lauren got every question correct, and she’s only three; I couldn’t believe it.”
Bunch is excited about Lauren’s future in Read to Succeed and beyond. She encourages other parents to get their children enrolled in a program that currently has a 96 percent success rate in kindergarten preparedness.
“It was one of the best decisions we have ever made for our daughter. If you are looking for a high quality program that will prepare your child for kindergarten, the Read to Succeed program is your best bet.”
United Way’s Read to Succeed program has leveled the education playing field for Lauren and more than 12,000 additional at-risk Nashville children since it began in 2004. Bunch’s passion for children and education has only intensified because of her family’s involvement in the Read to Succeed program. That passion will benefit Lauren as she advances in her education, as well as future Read to Succeed students and their families.