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Member Spotlight: School Readiness Taskforce Coordinator

Grace Morrison is a long-time Grinnell resident who had recently returned from service in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica. When her service term was shortened due to the Coronavirus pandemic, she decided to dedicate her time to service here at home, serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Grinnell Education Partnership!

Grace states that the School Readiness Taskforce focuses on capacity building projects that will help all kids in Grinnell enter school ready to engage and learn. When kids are ready for school, they have a strong foundation on which to build their educational career.

This year, Grace's projects include:

  • Creating a Play Space in partnership with Drake Community Library. This has included researching other libraries' offerings and developing a plan with Karen Neal, the Youth Services Director, at Drake.

  • Planning a kindergarten readiness camp for this year that is flexible to meet the needs of families and their entering kindergarteners in the time of COVID. These adaptations will be useful beyond just this year in reaching families who may not be able to attend Kindergarten Camp in person for a variety of reasons.

  • Working with the folks at Mayflower Community to create Intergenerational Programming in cooperation with preschools in town. Intergenerational programming is especially challenging while keeping our seniors and children safe during COVID, but establishing the foundation will be useful in future years to build the valuable relationships between seniors and children.

  • In coordination with AmeriCorps VISTA Jill Harris, Grace has been planning the Saturday programming provided by the Drake Community Library. Each week, Jill and Grace help secure guest readers, prepare activities, and create activity bags for children to enjoy the library programming from the safety of their homes.


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