May, 2012: Marilyn Peckins, the newest member of the Ionia County Literacy Council Board of Directors, is a lifelong resident of Ionia County, and happily married with three grown children.
Before retiring in July, 2011, Marilyn had worked for thirty-three years as a secretary with the State of Michigan, most of that time at the Riverside Correctional Facility in Ionia, and more recently in the warden’s office at the Michigan Reformatory. Since her “release” in July, Marilyn now has time to enjoy other activities, such as gardening, reading and tutoring.
“The ability to read is so important and essential in today’s world. Since I have been blessed with the ability to read and the time and patience to help others, I want to help those who struggle to read,” Marilyn said.
“My volunteer tutor experience with the Ionia County Literacy Council since September, 2011 has been both rewarding and gratifying. I look forward to working with the other members of the Literacy Council Board and the community to continue our efforts in promoting and increasing literacy,” she stated.
Please join the Ionia County Literacy Council in welcoming Marilyn Peckins aboard. Marilyn will also be helping out in the office of the literacy council.
December 2011: The Ionia County Literacy Council welcomes Mary Brimmer to its board of directors.
Mary, a retired kindergarten and Young 5s teacher, taught at Belding Area Schools for over twenty years.
She was instrumental in helping to develop and has been involved in the Greenville Flat River Community Theater. In addition, Mary is a former member of Storybook Theater, a traveling children's theater group.
Mary enjoys walking, traveling, and reading.
She has two grown children and two beautiful grandchildren. Mary says she is honored to be a part of the Ionia County Literacy Council, and we are honored that she joined.
Saying good-bye . . .
Sister Kathleen (Kit) Kaiser, csj, came to Ionia in April 1996 and has worked these past 16 years for the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids in pastoral ministry to the Spanish-speaking population in Ionia and Montcalm Counties.
Because of her concern for the literacy of her Hispanic community, she offered English classes at SS Peter & Paul School for three years to Spanish-speaking adults. It was during this time that she met Mary AnnHagemeyer,director of the Ionia County Literacy Council,and was askedtojoinforcesin establishing an ESL program (English as a Second Language) with the council.
Sister Kit joined the council as an adjunct member and in 2008 became a board member.During her 13 years with the council, she has been active in all areas of adult literacy promoted by the council, but most especially in recruiting teachers and students for the ESL program in both Ionia and Belding.
In early January, Sister Kit will be leaving the Ionia area to take a position near Kalamazoo. Shewill always consider Ionia one of her many ‘homes’ and the people of Ionia part of her dear ‘family’.
Sister Kit has been a dedicated member of the Ionia County Literacy Council Board of Directors and will be dearly missed by all.
. . . and hello
Karen Perkins, joined the Ionia County Literacy Council Board of Directors on October 13, 2011.
Karen brings 25 years of case management experience in employment-related services to the literacy council. She began that service with EightCap in 1986.
Currently Karen is Lead Case Manager at the Ionia County Michigan Works! office in Ionia, where she oversees the Workforce Investment Act Employment and Training Programs, as well as the Jobs Education and Training Programs.
Karen also has been involved in the community in a number of ways, including serving as an Ionia Chamber of Commerce Ambassador for 22 years. Most recently she served as chairwoman of the 2011 Ionia Free Fair Women’s Day event.
Karen’s work and volunteer experience will prove to be a valuable asset to the mission of the literacy council, and we feel honored to have her aboard.