Tag Archives: Reach Out and Read Community Council

CouncilSquare

Welcome, Ashley, Mary, Kathleen, and Liz

Reach Out and Read Kansas City is pleased to have four new members on our Community Council. Join us in welcoming Ashley Bieck, Liz Vasquez, Mary Olive Thompson, and Kathleen Johanson.

 

Ashley

Ashley Bieck is the Manager of National Medical Society Engagement at UnitedHealthcare, focusing on building external relationships and making sure the care provider point of view is well-represented. She previously worked for the American Academy of Family Physicians for eight years in workforce development and policy. She holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Biology, as well as a Master’s degree in Public Administration. Ashley loves spending time with her husband, Nathan, and five year old daughter, Maddie, and volunteering for a host of community and governmental organizations. Ashley shares the following about her commitment to community service:

 

I have dedication for helping the underserved in the Kansas City community and have tried to focus my volunteer career life on programs related to health, housing and hope. I would welcome the opportunity for additional service. And, that is what it is, service to an organization you are passionate about.

 

 

 

Mary

Mary Olive Thompson is the Director of Library Outreach and Community Engagement at Kansas City Public Library. She holds Master’s degrees in both Social Work, and in Library and Information Science. In addition, Mary has over ten years of experience working with a variety of community and social service agencies in the Lawrence KS and the Kansas City Metro areas. She and her fiancé are also expecting their first child in December and couldn’t be happier for the coming life changes! After reading The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, Mary found a deep appreciation for reading aloud to children. She shares the following about how the principle in The Read Aloud Handbook led her to RORKC:

I find these same principles in the Reach Out and Read program and would love to provide my skills and sweat equity to help RORKC continue to build the personal library of children across the metro, create a reading-rich environment, and encourage parents and caregivers to read aloud to their children.

 

 

 

Kathleen

Kathleen Johansen is the Senior Communications Liaison at The University of Kansas Hospital. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, a Master of Science degree in Health Education, and she has over ten years of experience in Communications and Journalism. Kathleen is also an active member of Junior League where she has a reputation for being a hard worker and very creative. Kathleen shares the following about her passion for reading aloud:

 

My love for reading and sharing bedtime stories with my son is why I want to join the Reach Out and Read Community Council. I will never forget the first time my son read along with me during his favorite bedtime story, “Old Hat, New Hat.” Oh, the joy! He was barely two-years-old but had already become a voracious reader. I started reading to him before he was born and he was reading on his own by the time he turned three.

 

 

 

 

20160817_182522Elizabeth Vasquez is a Physician’s Assistant at Health Partners Olathe, a Reach Out and Read KC partner clinic. She delivers the Reach Out and Read program to the children and families she sees in her practice and represents their sites (Olathe and Growing Futures) at our quarterly Clinic Coalition meetings. Elizabeth holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Along with a love for reading and sharing books, she has a deep understanding of the need for and importance of our program and its role in fostering learning and healthy brain development. She says the following about her love of reading:

 

I started reading at a young age and was encouraged by my parents greatly and some of my fondest memories are of my parents reading to me nightly, us reading out loud together, and going to library readings.  All of these early opportunities aided in writing, comprehension for later tests through school, and helped in general with all of my school subjects. Reading and writing have been a very big part of my life, and I would like to pass this on to other families throughout my work career.

 

 

SQAll

Welcome Lisa, Monica, Cathy, and Gharib

Reach Out and Read Kansas City is thrilled to have four new members on the Community Council!

Join us in welcoming Lisa Riojas, Monica Tiffany, and Cathy McCaddon.

 

lisariojas

Lisa Riojas, M.D. is a pediatrician and the Medical Director at RORKC’s partner clinic, Children’s Mercy Hospital West. Lisa has nearly 25 years of experience in pediatrics, serving an urban, racially diverse population. She is also a longtime advocate and practitioner of the Reach Out and Read program. Lisa shares the following about why she believes so strongly in RORKC:

 

I have watched countless children move through the Reach Out and Read program.  The families that read consistently with their children see improved speech skills as well as school performance but there is also a stronger parent-child bond.  While the improved literacy is critical for their school success, I also feel that the strong parent child bond is also a key component to that child’s ultimate success. 

 

 

 

 

monicatiffanyMonica Tiffany is the Creative Director at Merrigan & Co, specializing in developing effective communications strategy for organizations. Monica has a plenty of experience working with nonprofits, as she has written for Shriners Hospitals for Children, National Geographic, the American Red Cross, and many others. She has also been an active member of RORKC’s event planning committee. Monica shares the following about the importance of being read to:

It’s some of the most fundamental and important work we can do for kids and our culture. Also, it’s work that is close to my heart. I was lucky to have a mother who read to me—and who had her friends, sisters and parents (my grandparents) read to me. I participated in every summer reading program we knew about and it’s not stretching the truth to say reading, and what it did to my mind and my self-confidence, made me who I am today.

 

 

CMcCaddonCathy McCaddon is the Senior Vice President of Keybank Real Estate Capital and has 20 years of experience in real estate finance. Cathy will enter retirement soon, and she looks forward to spending more time volunteering, specifically with early childhood development. She has a great volunteer background, including her participation in The Greater Kansas City Pi Beta Phi Alumnae Club: She was named Pi Phi of the year in 2015. Cathy shares the following about why she looks forward to supporting RORKC:

 

 I would like to give something back to our community and I believe that our future lies in the education of our youth.

 

 

 

 

Gharibi

Gharib Gharibi is a Ph.D. student and instructor in Computer Science at UMKC, and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He has been an active volunteer for multiple organizations, including Harvesters, Operation Breakthrough, and Reach Out and Read KC. Gharib shares the following about his dedication to education:

I was raised in a culture that praises helping, giving to others, and sharing. Specifically, we believe in giving , unconditionally, to those who are in need. The most noble form of giving is teaching, because education is the ultimate way to improve ourselves, our nation, and the human  race.