There’s a kind of magic that takes place when you read out loud to children. There is the shared experience of being transported into the narrative, the feeling of care and respect that the act of speaking and listening transmits, and most of all the joy of discovering or rediscovering a love of books and reading.
On Tuesdays, Maggie Spak, a volunteer from Bradley Hills, gets to relish these experiences as well act as a reading guide through other exciting activities during the weekly Read Aloud at NCCF’s Greentree Shelter (GTS).
Maggie says “I first heard about the need for volunteers at Read Aloud through my church Bradley Hills, which is right across the street. When I went to the Volunteer Orientation, I was really struck by Dahlia’s message about preserving childhood. I have small children, and I read to them every night, so I was excited to have the opportunity to read to these kids and set up a theme and activity. I’m also a high school English teacher, so I appreciate any program promoting reading. I’ve been volunteering for Read Aloud since January and have held sessions on yoga, superheroes, dreams, and the five senses. It has been a great pleasure to see the kids’ enthusiasm and excitement as well as their pride in the arts and crafts they create. I feel so lucky to have gotten to know these children and be a part of this wonderful program.”
Maggie’s spirit of adventure and obvious enjoyment in her work has quickly made her a favorite at GTS among the clients. As an English teacher and a mother she is uniquely qualified to instill a love of reading in the children at GTS. She creates an environment of joyful learning by reading to them and then incorporating enrichment activities like crafts or movement to allow their young minds to grow and stretch the boundaries of the stories they’ve just heard. Maggie is truly an asset to the NCCF volunteer community and a very special person in the lives of the clients she encounters every week.