Not every month can easily be transformed into ... RAWKtober! (Thank you for being okay with the name change, October.) To celebrate what a rad month this is, we're going to highlight RAWKstars throughout the month. Oh yes, you read that correctly—that is plural! And what better group of RAWKstars to celebrate other than our board of directors? We're thrilled to share about the people who are bringing their expertise to Team RAWK. Our board members are our advocates, and devote their time and energies to building our program and maintaining the integrity of our work. With their help we will continue to serve a growing number of students and families. They are true champions of the written word, and will forever be RAWKstars.
Every week of RAWKtober we'll be sharing a few of our 13 (ooooh, that's a perfectly spooky number for the season!) members. To begin, here are Sidney Ellis (our board president), Joanna Parzakonis, and Jonathan Bush.
1. Occupation: Fundraiser at YMCA of Greater Kalamazoo (My title is Director of Mission Advancement)
2. Favorite book: To Kill a Mockingbird
3. A wish for Kalamazoo: That everyone has the opportunity to read and let the stories take them around the world.
4. A word you love: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (The roots of the word have been defined as follows: super- "above", cali- "beauty", fragilistic- "delicate", expiali- "to atone", and -docious "educable", with the sum of these parts signifying roughly "Atoning for educability through delicate beauty." According to the film, it is defined as "something to say when you have nothing to say".)
5. Why you're excited to be serving on RAWK's board of directors: I'm excited about serving as a board member of RAWK because of the joy in accomplishment I see in the faces of the youth and parents we serve.
1. Occupation: Book Ninja — aka store owner (Bookbug), bookseller, community advocate.
2. Favorite book: I do wish that question was asked in plural, but out of love for singular (and singular, stunning way this book affected me as a young adult) I will answer: Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
3. A wish for Kalamazoo: To assume and insist upon excellence
4. A word you love: 'Meraki' (it's a Greek word thought to be untranslatable, meaning: pouring yourself wholeheartedly into something, and doing so with soul, creativity, and love.)
5. Why you're excited to be serving on RAWK's board of directors: To be a part of encouraging and nurturing young voices in a way akin to what was done for me as a fledgling (and funny — not always in good way) writer and reader.
1. Occupation: English professor at Western Michigan (with a few side-journeys into administration)
2. Favorite book: Far too many books to list — and variable depending on my mood at that moment, but anything by Bill Bryson would typically have to be included.
3. A wish for Kalamazoo: To be recognized as one of America's great educational cities — kindergarten through college.
4. A word you love: Interrobang (and it's my favorite punctuation mark, too!)
5. Why you're excited to be serving on RAWK's board of directors: RAWK is about good people coming together to serve our entire community — and engage in reading and writing! How could anyone not be excited about that?