Giving Thanks: Our Board and Staff are Thankful for…

I’m most thankful for the dedication and passion of the LKC staff and volunteers. They make the difference! -Ed Nickel, Board Member


Eze & friends at Martin Luther King, Jr's childhood home

Eze & friends at Martin Luther King, Jr’s childhood home



Eze Redwood, Google Fellow: 

I am very thankful for the Goosebumps and Encyclopedia Brown series’ of books. Together they exposed me the “choose your own adventure” style that has captured my attention and made me love reading!





Rachel's cat, Purr

Rachel’s cat, Purr



Rachel Cash, Fund Development Manager: 

I am grateful that I started graduate school this fall. It is a blessing to be able to learn new things every day.

I am also grateful for my cat, Purr.




Gillian & family

Gillian & family




Gillian Helm, Executive Director:
I am grateful that I get to rediscover all the books, words, language, and laughter I loved as a child through the literary explorations of my own little ones every day.




Claire enjoying KC nightlife

Claire enjoying KC nightlife



Claire Bishop, Board Member:
I am thankful to live in a great city with a phenomenal community of smart, kind and active citizens. Proud to call this great place home!



Haley (left) & friend at 2015 Royals Home Opener

Haley (left) & friend at 2015 Royals Home Opener


Haley Box, Director of Information Systems:

As a child, my father would sit down with my brother and I each night before bed, cut up an apple slice by slice with a pocket knife – for what we called our “bednight snack” – and read to us from one of many books in our home library. I’m grateful to have grown up part of a family in which reading is valued for its versatile power to educate, entertain, and spark curiosity in the unknown. I’m also grateful, like most KC natives, for the Kansas City Royals!



Will & Literacy KC student Shirley Lewis

Will & Literacy KC student Shirley Lewis

Will Orlowski, Ticket to Read Program Coordinator and AmeriCorps VISTA:

Literacy is the most important way that I connect with and make sense of the world I live in. It allows me to relate to real-world friends, explore the abstract and difficult challenges that life faces us with, and express and articulate myself in a meaningful way.


Sarah & brother, Brian

Sarah & brother, Brian

Sarah Bell, Ticket to Read Program Instructor and Digital Outreach Coordinator:
For as long as I can remember, books have been a source of happiness and comfort for me. They have many uses and provide numerous benefits, but I am especially thankful for literature. A good book opens up new worlds, provides rich characters to learn from, and inspires empathy and understanding of human nature.


Lindsey (right) & family at MU Homecoming

Lindsey (right) & family at MU Homecoming

Lindsey Clark, Family Reading Program Coordinator and AmeriCorps VISTA:
I am most thankful for my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Wilson, because he created a competitive book club called Battle of the Books. Each week, the teams would have to read a book and then would answer trivia questions about it in front of our parents, other students and our teachers. Battle of the Books made reading fun, competitive and challenging, and I attribute it to why I love reading so much today!


Kate (far left) and family

Kate (far left) and family

Kate Brown, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator:
I’m thankful for my parents who created a home that valued reading which developed in me a deep love for the written word and for my mom who tirelessly (even when she fell asleep in the middle of a chapter!) read out loud to my brother and me every night before we went to bed when we were little.


Paul and wife Amelia at Union Station for the Royals parade 2015

Paul and wife Amelia at Union Station for the Royals parade 2015

Paul Rosenboom, Board Member:
I am thankful for my uncle Lloyd. When my cousins and I were young, he would gift us children’s books which were often signed by the author. At the signings, he would inquire about inspirations for the story or characters or the author’s background and relay the added color to us. This would make the reading more interesting and add something special to already enjoyable books.


Julia and son, Elijah

Julia and son, Elijah



Julia Wendt, Instructional Team Leader:
I am thankful that our Kansas City Royals are truly World Champions again!!! I am also thankful for my wonderful Literacy KC community, and all of my loved ones!



Judy Pfannenstiel, Board Member:
I continue to be thankful for the public library that was available to a rural child like me. We had no books in our home, but each week my parents would take us kids to the library where each child would check out the maximum limit of 10 books. And I’m thankful for my parents, who chose to ignore the fact that I would read with a flashlight under the covers well after everyone had gone to bed!

Rekha Patnaik, Board Member:
I am most thankful to my daughter for her love of reading. At a tender age of 5, she is smitten by books in four different languages: English, Hindi, Russian and Spanish! I am also thankful to my parents for providing me with resources and love to inculcate the respect for books and drive for academic achievement.

Phil Denver, Instructor:
I am thankful for the poems of Langston Hughes, the prose of Sandra Cisneros, the speeches of Sojourner Truth, the jokes of George Carlin and everything my students write!

Heather Starzynski, Board Member:
I am thankful for my third grade teacher, Ms. Daisy-Mae Meyer (seriously, that was her name! :)). She brought books into the classroom that I can still remember changing my life with regard to how one can get lost in another world with books like Boxcar Children and Little House on the Prairie.  I’m also thankful for the amazing experience I’ve had as a tutor, learning about the struggles and stunning resilience of the woman with whom I worked.

Nancy Clay, Instructional Specialist:
I am thankful for a professor of American Lit at San Francisco State who would get so involved and excited about discussing a book that he would literally run around the room as he led the discussion, embrace students who said ‘brilliant’ things and write on the walls or board or door or whatever with chalk as he was too focused to realize where he was standing. It was during a discussion of Moby Dick that I first said something ‘brilliant’ and fell even more in love with reading than I had thought was possible.

Kim Rogers, Operations Manager:
I am thankful for all of my teachers/professors who pushed me to be my best and always go above and beyond.

Dana Moriarty, Board Member:
I am so thankful for my luminous mother who instilled in me the joy of reading through “Charlotte’s Web”,”The Wind in the Willows”, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”, and “Fear of Flying”! My joy has multiplied with my son, reading “Goodnight Moon”, “The Night Kitchen”, ALL the Harry Potter books… to today, discussing Franzen, Sedaris, Diaz and more.


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November 26, 2015 · 8:02 am

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