Want to help sick children? Join this virtual reading program launched by 2 Miami sisters

Christina Mayo
·5 min read

Children who are seriously ill need all the love and attention that others can give. Sisters Sudan and Cairo Eubanks have stepped up to do just that.

Their latest passion is Reading with Royalty, a virtual book reading initiative through which volunteer readers “provide an avenue for children in hospitals to feel connected to the world around them.”

“Reading with Royalty sparks creativity, imagination, and education all while staying virtual,” Sudan said. “I created Reading with Royalty to put smiles on the children’s faces while still promoting social distancing during the pandemic.”

She said community leaders and pageant titleholders across the country have participated from Miss Maryland 2020 to Fort Lauderdale’s Outstanding Teen Madison Flowers.

Sudan is just 13 years old and is starting eighth grade at Glades Middle School. Older sister Cairo is Miss Broward County 2020 (Miss America Local Titleholder) and the Brand Ambassador of Reading with Royalty.

The program, launched April 21 in Miami, is available nationwide with a growing number of volunteer readers from outside Florida joining in.

“It has been incredibly rewarding getting feedback from the children’s hospitals that the children are enjoying the books that we have created,” Cairo Eubanks said.

“Having the opportunity to act out stories for the children as the Brand Ambassador of Reading with Royalty reminds me of one of my favorite memories of reading to children while I working with a residential school in South India,” Cairo Eubanks said. “This is a wonderful way of giving back at this time.”

The sisters aim to expand the initiative to more foundations in Florida and nationwide. They are partnered with two Children’s Hospital Foundations, one of which is the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Foundation, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital.

If you are interested in being a volunteer reader, write to Cairo Eubanks at info@cairospeaks.com or contact the sisters through Instagram https://www.instagram.com/readingwithroyalty_/

Siblings start free tutoring website

MAST Academy 10th grade student Gonzalo Cortes and his siblings, Maria and JP, have found a way to help other students during the pandemic.

The brothers and sister have created a tutoring website for free use during the new school year and its virtual environment. Any student who needs help can book a tutor, or students can become tutors to help others.

Maria is a junior at MAST and JP is a senior at Gulliver Schools.

“EZ Learn is a non-profit website that unites students and allows them to tutor other students for free online,” Gonzalo said.

The free-tutoring platform is available to everyone, Gonzalo said. The resources include one-on-one time with a teacher or even a face-to-face conversation with a classmate who understands the subject better.

“Student tutors will also be rewarded with community service hours and the satisfaction of knowing that they have helped put someone else in a position to succeed,” Gonzalo said. “Just 30 minutes of this long quarantine can help a student not fall behind in school. Join us in bettering our community!”

To become a part of the EZ learn movement, and to read more about it, visit www.ezlearn.page

Carrollton grad continues tennis journey

Congratulations to Coral Gables resident Isabella Leaño on her acceptance to play on the women’s tennis team at La Salle University in Philadelphia. She has competed with the U.S. Tennis Association since she was 10.

Isabella Leaño, a graduate of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, will play on the women’s tennis team at La Salle University in Philadelphia.
Isabella Leaño, a graduate of Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart, will play on the women’s tennis team at La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Last year, Isabella raised more than $4,000 for Stand Up To Cancer in the Smash Cancer Tennis-a-thon in honor of her grandfather, who died in 2013 from leukemia.

She will be studying in La Salle’s Pre-Health Professional program with plans to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps and pursue a career as an anesthesiologist.

“The community at La Salle University appears to be a natural extension of the ideas and concepts fostered at my local Miami high school, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart,” Isabella said.

“Having grown up with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins as doctors, it was really no surprise that the medical profession would become a potential career goal for me. However, it was one specific incident that directed my aspirations to become a doctor to intersect with my love for tennis.

“My grandfather passed from a very aggressive cancer: Acute Myeloid Leukemia. His doctors offered experimental treatments and protocols that extended his months with us and increased his quality of life,” she said.

“Entirely fascinated by how this almost futuristic treatment could help patients and their families enjoy what little time they had left together, I was inspired to give back to organizations that are focused on cancer treatment.”

Isabella plans to host another fundraiser tennis marathon later this year.

“Although I will be in Philadelphia and my co-creator will be back home in Miami, we will continue the philanthropic event using remote technology that we have quickly come to embrace during this pandemic,” she said.

UM Frost hosts youth program

Registration is open for music classes in the Frost Preparatory Program at the University of Miami. Classes start Aug. 24 and are available for ages 0-18.

“We heard from so many parents who were worried about the implications of this virtual start to the school year. They want to try to maintain socialization, extracurricular activities, and arts for their children, and were concerned about how they will do that in the current environment,” said Megan Walsh, the program’s director.

“We revamped our entire course catalog to be able to offer everything in either a virtual format, or a small (less than four persons) socially distanced group, and we are confident we can offer students the same level of quality arts education and social interaction with their peers that we did before,” Walsh said.

Sign up at www.prep.frost.miami.edu, email frostprep@miami.edu, or call 786-863-4041.

If you have news for this column, write to ChristinaMMayo@gmail.com.