Member Spotlight: Healthy Readers Taskforce

Sieglinde (Ziggy) Thetard is a recent graduate of Grinnell College who has dedicated her first year post-graduation to service as the AmeriCorps VISTA Healthy Readers Taskforce Coordinator at GEP. At Grinnell, Ziggy completed her bachelor's degree in history and gender studies. She also has experience in advocacy and storytelling.


Ziggy shared that the Healthy Readers Taskforce collaborates with local organizations, businesses, individual volunteers, and the school district to build capacity that enhances existing projects and improves sustainability. The projects that her Taskforce implements support children’s mental and physical wellbeing through art and reading.

This year, Ziggy's projects include:

  • A collaborative project with the Grinnell College Museum of Art to bring high quality art prints, supplies, and activities to homes in the Grinnell area. Ziggy worked with Tilly Woodward at GCMoA to secure a Mellon Grant to fund this project, which is also supported by local donations. This project provides art and reading to children in the Grinnell area as coping mechanism for anxiety and isolation during a time of distress.

  • Evaluating the Little Free Libraries located around Grinnell and creating resources so that the libraries are easier to access. This project supports mental and physical health while also promoting literacy. Ziggy and her taskforce will also be looking into opportunities to repair old libraries, build new ones, and supply new books. She is in the process of finding a sustainable solution to the libraries' upkeep in collaboration with the Friends of Drake Community Library.