December 2016 Volunteer Spotlight
‘I originally thought that to become a volunteer for Raising Readers I should have experience teaching lower elementary kids. Fortunately for me the staff helps us rookies and those with no teaching experience work with the kids. It is very rewarding and helps put into perspective what is really important for our future’.
Dan Franklin began volunteering for Raising Readers in Story County this past summer as a Reading Buddies volunteer. After first hearing about RRSC at an Ames Town and Country Kiwanis meeting in March, he decided that after he retired in June 2016, he would like to volunteer for our organization-and as of December, he has volunteered almost 40 hours, volunteering for K-3 Summer Reading Buddies, ACPC Reading Buddies, and Harrison Barnes Reading Academy!
Dan grew up in NW Iowa and graduated from ISU expecting to teach middle school math or history. After graduation, he started working for the Iowa Department of Transportation and retired after almost 44 years there in June. Dan calls it ‘A career that I really enjoyed but it wasn’t teaching’. Dan has two grown children, a daughter who works in Washington, D.C., and a son who works in Madison, Wisconsin.
Dan believes in community service and helping others, so when he began to consider retirement, he knew that he would be staying in Ames and volunteering in the Ames Community. ‘It was just a matter of where I would be spending my time with the goal of “making a difference”’. Dan shared how he became aware of our volunteer opportunities, ‘As a member of the Town and Country Kiwanis Club, I have many opportunities to hear about and participate in the wide variety of volunteer programs and activities in the Ames area. Earlier this year Kim spoke to our club about RRSC and the importance of being exposed to reading at a very early age, learning to read in lower elementary and the connection between reading at grade level and success into high school. That’s when I decided that within the many RRSC programs, there would be one that I can commit to into retirement’. And he’s been involved ever since!
When asked what he loves most about volunteering with RRSC, Dan shares, ‘After spending 44 years working with adults (most of it dealing with policy, legislative and program activities), I enjoy the excitement and enthusiasm that the kids bring as they work on projects or puzzles, as they listen to or read books or as they learn something new’. The children Dan works with love telling him stories about his day, and he always comes in with a smile on his face, ready to work with his preschooler or school-aged mentee.
Thank you, Dan, for your wonderful service to our organization!