Raising Readers in Story County

Our Team

Executive Director: Kristi Mayo 

Kristi graduated from Grand View College with a degree in elementary education and earned her master’s degree from Grand Canyon University, specializing in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis in reading. She spent much of her career serving at-risk students, families, and communities, bringing considerable experience with early childhood and elementary education, academic intervention, instructional coaching, and team leadership, in addition to school-based program administration. Her experience provides the necessary insight and understanding of the needs and challenges of our community as well as the leadership experience needed to carry our mission forward. She shares our passion and vision for ensuring children have the foundation required to be successful learners.


Programs Manager: Laura Geake

Laura Geake grew up on a farm outside of Wall Lake, Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University studying Child, Adult, and Family Services. Her career has been focused on informal education and play including program facilitation and management at the Science Center of Iowa, Iowa Children's Museum, and Science Museum of Minnesota. Laura earned her master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University with a focus on informal education, community engagement, and youth voice. She believes in meeting families where they are and finding their strengths to build skills. Laura believes that play is the key to learning and essential for early learners. Laura and her husband Kris live in Nevada with their daughter Aurora.


Family Literacy Coordinator: Robyn Nitchals-Reierson

Robyn Nitchals-Reierson graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University and her Master’s of Science in Education from Drake University.  She worked as the head teacher at the Iowa State University Laboratory School and as a kindergarten teacher in the Ames Community School district. These experiences have shaped her approach and instilled a deep appreciation for a solid foundation during a child's formative years. Robyn began working at RRSC in 2020 as a Family Literacy Specialist, with our infant and toddler programs: Small Talk and STARS storytime. Robyn's dedication to these programs stems from her fundamental belief that parents are a child’s most important and powerful teachers. Robyn is committed to creating enriching experiences for young children, emphasizing developmentally appropriate education and fostering a love for learning from the very start. The best part of her job is empowering parents to play an active role in their child's educational journey.


Volunteer Coordinator: Hanna Bell

Hanna Bell serves as the volunteer coordinator for Raising Readers. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Cottey College and a Master's in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Elmhurst University, she leverages her expertise to meticulously craft, evaluate, and enrich volunteer experiences at RRSC. She views volunteering as a collaborative endeavor embraced by community members with the shared goal of enhancing our towns and cities. This perspective underscores her unwavering commitment to fostering impactful and meaningful volunteer experiences with RRSC. Beyond her professional role, Hanna is an avid reader who treasures quality moments with family and friends. She enjoys exploring new experiences, savoring diverse cuisines, and traveling. Her most cherished adventures unfolded in Thailand, where she immersed herself in the culture and language. 

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