Dan Dineen receiving his Mack Davis Award from Lisa Van Vleck, Director of Corporate Programs
Dan Dineen is Genzyme’s longest serving Reading Buddy, having been a Reading Buddy at the Fletcher Maynard Academy (FMA) for 13 of his 17 years at Genzyme, where he works in international operations. The classroom at FMA is a short distance, but a long way, from his desk where he is responsible for the global supply chain for bio-surgery. Dan says getting away from his desk to read to his first and second graders is always refreshing and rewarding. His little Buddies are always eager to see him, standing at the classroom doorway, asking the coordinators, “Is Dan coming? Is Dan coming?” And he always does! Even on his day off, Dan will find his way to FMA to read to his Buddy.
Dan has been matched with girls and boys, with eager readers and with reluctant readers. His approach is the same with all. As described by Caitlin O’Donnell, first grade teacher, “Dan is gentle, calm, reassuring, kind and flexible, always willing to take on a second child. He is a positive male role model for all of the children.”
As CSV Reading Buddies Coordinator, Lisa Van Vleck has known Dan his entire Reading Buddies career. She notes his patience, remembering the time he read Rapunzel nine times before asking if it would be OK to nudge the child in another direction. Choosing books with his Buddies is one of Dan’s trademarks. He notices what works with each child and quietly steers him or her to an appropriate choice. He notices the little things that his Buddies say and do, like when his Buddy spotted a Haitian tale that was mislabeled as fiction, and Dan made a point of reporting it to the teacher so it could be corrected. Being noticed is the best thing that can happen to a child.
Over the years Dan’s Buddies have been consistent in their loving praise of their Buddy. They mention his reading talent and his friendship:
“I like when you read a book. You are a good reader. How do you read so good?”
“Thank you for reading to me and for being a great friend.”
“You are the best reading buddy because you read fast. I love fast reading people.”
“I had fun reading books with you. I had good times on Wednesdays and I will never forget my Reading Buddy. You are my best friend.”
Susan Young, FMA Early Literacy Interventionist, sums up why Dan’s contributions are worthy of CSV’s Mack Davis award: “Dan is so dedicated and shows such enthusiasm in his work with students. He is a wonderful role model whose love of books and reading is passed on to a new generation of readers through his volunteer work.”