Lynn came to Aspen 35 years ago... came to ski and stayed! She is very involved in the community. She been a faithful volunteer since the beginning of Read with Me. Lynn falls hard for the kids she works with and never wants them to move onto the middle school! She loves to read and is interested in literacy. She read about Read with Me in her church bulletin and quickly joined our team. Not only does Lynn volunteer but has kindly donated money over the last two years so we could build our library! Lynn loves the outdoors and hiking. Being retired allows her husband and her to do what they love in their "Golden Years"! She loves reading, crosswords and animals! Lynn has a huge heart for people and animals and hates the injustice she sees. When I asked her about something we should know about her, she said that she hates change. I guess that is good for us... it's means she will be back again next year! Thanks for your faithfulness to Read with Me Lynn!
Dr. John Maloy is the superintendent of the Aspen Schools. The idea behind Read with Me came from him. Dr. Maloy had a program at his former district that was a volunteer reading program to support 2nd and 3rd graders who were falling behind in reading. He has passion for helping kids become better readers and hopefully they will begin to experience the joy of reading. He has been one of our volunteers from the start because he believes it is a wonderful opportunity to help kids get excited about reading! Dr. Maloy and his wife moved to Aspen 10 years ago from Bloomington, Indiana where he was the superintendent. When asked about what he is most passionate about, he said that after his family, he wants to be a part of helping kids be successful in and out of school. He shared that he believes one of his best character traits is caring about others and making sure that people feel like they are a valued member of a team. He also feels he is a good listener and is able to support people with concerns or issues and help them solve the problem. When I asked him about something fun we should know about him, he laughed and then I found out he is terrified of snakes! He also shared that he loves to play tennis and pickle ball and just might have a championship win in his back pocket! Thank you Dr. Maloy for believing in this program and continuing to make it a priority at Aspen Elementary School!
Chonnie knows the importance of reading with children as she has 2 of her own whom she has taught the love of reading. She has 2 daughters who attend school at AES and AMS. Both of her girls are strong readers and love it. She started volunteering for Read with Me because she wanted to share the same love with kids she works with. She believes that reading is so valuable for every aspect of your life. Chonnie humbly shared that one of her best character traits is that she enjoys helping others! When Chonnie isn't loving on her own family or Read with Me kids, she is running her own gardening and home management business that she has run since the early 90s. Chonnie moved here 26 years ago when she came for a visit and never left! One fun fact about Chonnie... she and her family travel to Italy every year and have lots of friends there! Chonnie, thanks for giving back to kids kids at AES!
Many know Bill, as he has lived in Aspen for over 40 years! You can't miss his smile and great sense of humor! In fact he believes humor is very important to have! He also believes that one of his best character traits is his ability to care for others. Bill has been practicing law for over 40 years. Most of his years have been in criminal law. He certainly wears a different hat when he reads with his reading partners at school! Bill joined our team 3 years ago when a friend who is also one of our volunteers invited him to come. He agreed and has stayed because he really likes working with the kids! He believes it is so important for the kids to get good experiences with reading. We are thankful for Bill showing up and giving us all a good laugh and the kindness he gives to the kids he works with!
If you have spent any time driving around Aspen, you have met or seen Brian O'Neil. He walks everywhere and you can almost always see a book in his hand! Brian has lived in Aspen for over 40 years!
Brian has been a volunteer for Read with Me for 3 years! He was one of the first volunteers to sign up and has helped recruit others from his frequent lunches at the Senior Center! Brian loves to read and his passion for volunteering stems from his years of teaching in Massachusetts. He would see elementary school teachers "trying to do it all" and he was excited to come support kids at AES! Brian is a soft spoken, gentleman who believes it is important to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. He is very involved in the local Elks chapter. We are so thankful for Brian and the fun he brings to our group!
The first time I met Peggy Johnston, I knew she would be amazing with kids. Little did I know, she had been coming to AES a few years before Read with Me began and volunteered her time with kids and reading. She has read with the same buddy for 5 years! As you can see from the picture, she is full of joy! She will even tell you her best character trait is her sense of humor! She reads with kids because she thinks it is so fun and she loves the kids she works with. She also loves to read. In fact, Peggy knows that books can take you anywhere and she believes everyone should read and find the adventure in books. Peggy takes her reading adventure for real and loves to travel to places all over the world and discover other cultures! Peggy has "adopted" families in Bali, Brazil and Basalt! Peggy has lived in Aspen since 1972. She moved here on a whim... we are sure glad she did!
There aren't many who don't know the Melville name! Marian has been a faithful volunteer for Read with Me since the day we started! Marian can be seen volunteering at many places in Aspen. She volunteers at the hospital (right before she comes to us). She also donates her time to the thrift store as well as teaching a weekly bible study at our local jail! She loves her time with her Read with Me kids and can't wait to get back to them. Even when I tell her to stay home because of the snow, she tells me she is coming because she just adores the kids and doesn't want to miss. Marian's passions... Jesus and her family! One of her biggest highlights each year are her 3 weeks she spends in Cancun each May with her family! She shared that her best character traits are being dependable and loving. I could not agree more! Marian moved here over 60 years ago as a ski bum! Her friends convinced her to stay for the summer. It's a good thing she did. She met her late husband of 59 1/2 years that summer... and as they say... the rest is history! She and Ralph along with many of their family have run the Mountain Chalet since 1954 when Ralph built it! We love you Marian and our kids are so lucky to have you!
Bobbi has been volunteering since the start of our program three years ago. She began volunteering because she wanted to work with children in some capacity and she feels it is very important for kids to learn to read for entertainment, enrichment and continue to learn and be informed as they go through life. As kids journey through life, she believes reading can open so many doors for them! Bobbi has lived in Aspen for 50 years! She has had 4 careers... waitress, hair cutting, ski.com and now retirement! She is enjoying this stage where she can ski, be outdoors and play with her granddaughter! She can also be found volunteering at the thrift shop! When asked what her best character trait is... she said that she is a caretaker and concerned about others. She loves to stay busy and sometimes her friends tell her she talks too much!! We love having Bobbi as a Read with Me volunteer. She takes it very seriously and she really gets to know the kids she works with and how to support them best! Thank you Bobbi for your faithfulness to this program!
George is well known in this community... from restaurants to the classroom... George has touched many lives in Aspen. George came to Aspen in 1970 after taking a break from teaching middle school math in CA. Like many do... he came for a winter and has really never left. He took a few years off from living here to explore Hawaii and Park City, but he returned. George spent many years making sure bellies were full and customers were happy at his restaurants on Highlands! After 22 years, he hung up his hat as a restaurant owner and went back to his first career. He taught math part time at AES until he decided to spend more time with his family and his other passion, fly fishing! George and his wife have 2 children that grew up here as well. George volunteers for Read with Me because he enjoys the kids, he loves reading and he gets excited about seeing the progress in the kids he reads with! George has volunteered two times a week for three years. His quiet and sincere demeanor is greatly appreciated and kids love working with him! Thank you George for your time commitment to our program!
We are going to start highlighting our fabulous volunteers. Please check back to this blog each week to meet the people who are making Read with Me a huge success!!
Meet Nancy Smith, a retired school teacher who has made Aspen her 2nd home for 25 years. She now winters here and has been a volunteer for Read with Me for 2 years because she missed working with kids! She is passionate about education because she believes it is where it all starts. She shared that a character trait she has is determination. She wants to keep helping kids learn and show them that we can all be life long learners! Thank you Nancy for your passion and commitment to this program. You are making a difference!