Raising Readers in Story County

August 2016 Volunteer Spotlight

 Marguerite Sibley


Marguerite Sibley is an inveterate reader, lifelong learner, and has been a teacher for most of her life. She grew up in Ames, but has lived, studied, and worked in Wisconsin, Mexico, Guatemala, and the People's Republic of China. She has degrees in Anthropology and Teaching English as a Second Language, as well as Elementary Teaching Certification. Marguerite began teaching Graduate English students at ISU, but soon discovered that the lessons she wanted to teach were for much younger students, and she moved to elementary schools, where she happily taught for 18 years. In 2015, Marguerite retired from 12 years at Central Elementary School in Nevada, where she taught ESL, Reading, Kindergarten, and most recently, Multi-Age First and Second.  Marguerite has been married for 35 years to her best friend John Rundle, and has two grown children and two small kittens.

Her love for working with children led her back to substitute teaching at Central, and to volunteer work with Raising Readers in Story County. She had heard about the organization from several friends who had volunteered, and started right in the first month after retirement. In the past year, Marguerite has labeled gift books, helped with craft activities, worked at two Step into Storybook events, tutored in the Reading Buddies program, passed out gift books at Northwood Family Night, become team leader of the Reading Corners program, and helped teach the Super K Transition to Kindergarten Program for two summers. Each of these volunteer activities has been fun and satisfying, but Marguerite most enjoys working directly with children, and especially, putting new books into the hands of youngsters.

Super K began as a pilot program in Ames last summer, and this year Marguerite and Family Literacy Coordinator/Educator Judy Dahlke planned an improved program for Ames and Nevada. This July, JoAnn Sandoval assisted Marguerite with the eight-day Nevada class, which served nine eager kids who are heading into Kindergarten. It was a delightful experience for everyone involved, and wonderful that it could be coordinated with the Food for Thought program which provided free bussing, breakfast and lunch for participants. This super group of kids are heading into Kindergarten with confidence and are all excited to learn.

Marguerite knows that there are volunteering opportunities at Raising Readers in Story County which would be fulfilling for any adults with a little free time. Nothing is more important than sharing a love of reading with little ones and their families, and she loves that RRSC serves thousands of children across Story County. Marguerite's favorite quote about early literacy is, "Reading to children even before they can understand, teaches them to associate books with love and affection." And as children grow older, she agrees that, "A child who reads will be an adult who thinks."

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