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REadingADvantage, Inc.

Changing a generation - one child, one book at a time

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REadingADvantage, Inc., is a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt nonprofit corporation founded April 2014 by three "retired" Contra Costa County employees: Shirley Kalinowski, Sherry Dorfman and Deborah Polk. We are committed to helping our youngest and most vulnerable children develop the language skills they need to be ready for kindergarten and to ultimately be successful in school and in life. We have promoted our early literacy message to over 2,000 Contra Costa County parents through workshops at elementary schools, Head Start sites, and community events such as Juneteenth and WIC, to name a few. We have also distributed over 25,000 new and gently used high-quality children's books. We believe that we are giving young children in our community an opportunity for future success.

Board of Directors:

Shirley Kalinowski, President
Deborah Polk, Secretary
Sherry Dorfman, Treasurer
Balbina Bernal, Member
Brian Kalinowski, Member
Douglas Perez, Member
Joanne Lederman, Member
Josette Brennan, Member
Lynnett Kinnaird, Member
Nancy Black, Member
Steven Bibby, Member
Thais Kishi, Member

Co-Founders Bios:

Head shot of middle-aged lady Shirley Kalinowski, President/CEO

During my over 30 years working with Contra Costa County's Employment and Human Services Department (EHSD), I had a full career in both public assistance direct service delivery and policy development. I have a BA in Psychology and an MPA, both from CSUH East Bay. Since retiring from the county, I have conducted professional development courses at Los Medanos College and EHSD. Over the last three years I have been privileged to volunteer with two other retired county employees to start our early literacy non-profit, REadingADvantage Inc.
Deborah Polk, Vice President/Secretary/Volunteer Coordinator

I retired from Contra Costa County in 2012 after 33 years of public service. I worked primarily for Employment and Human Services in the Social Services/Workforce Services Bureau. I have a BA from Saint Mary's College in Moraga and a MSW from Sacramento State. I continue to work for EHSD as a County Temp when requested. Since retirement, I have had the pleasure of volunteering with three non-profit agencies but REading ADvantage is my priority and my passion. The feedback received from parents and the gleam in the eyes of children upon receiving books continues to motivate us to do more. We truly believe in our mantra "Changing a generation-one child, one book at a time."
Sherry Dorfman, Board Chair/Treasurer

I am a co-founder of REadingADvantage Inc., and serve as Board Chair/Treasurer for READ's Board of Directors. I am an adjunct faculty member at the California State University, Sacramento and owner/principal consultant of SCD Consulting based in Alamo, California. I have a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley and a master's degree from the Florida State University, both in criminology. Following a consulting career focused on public service, I served as Chief Assistant Executive Officer for the Superior Court of California, Contra Costa County, and retired in 2006. I have held adjunct faculty positions at the University of Connecticut, Golden Gate University, and San Jose City College. I am President of the Board of Directors for Diablo Theatre Company in Walnut Creek, where I have been a board member since 2009. I also serve as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Richard E. Arnason Court Scholarship Fund where I have been active since 2007.

REadingADvantage, Inc.
Changing a generation - one child, one book at a time.
1145 Second St., Suite A, #113
Brentwood, CA 94513
Phone: (925) 550-6021

Questions about Reading Advantage? Write to Shirley Kalinowski,
Questions about the web site? Write to our Web Master,

All material © REadingADvantage, Inc.

Site started: May 8, 2014.
This page updated: November 28, 2016