Elizabeth Anderson Receives Rotary
Community Leader Award
The recent recipient of the Community Leader of the Year award, Elizabeth Anderson, is serving the community of Catalina by doing the thing she loves most, promoting literacy. What began as a one-woman crusade has blossomed into a full-fledged program. A dedicated educator, Elizabeth began by implementing “Parents as Teachers,” a play group for non-qualifiers of Head Start. Parents are encouraged to read to their children to bring to life the excitement of the printed word.
Associated with the Amphitheater School District, Elizabeth has been with the Catalina Community Resource Center for four years. She makes monthly home visits, spending at least an hour with each family, and always bringing books with her. “Literacy is my dream,” she explains. “It opens the door to learning and understanding math and science.” Her mother told her stories while Elizabeth was little and subsequently introduced the wonderful world of communication to her.
Many volunteers now help her with reading programs. Three to four times a year pre-school children are treated to a reading party with seasonal themes like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. The youngsters have been visited by, among other characters, the Cat in the Hat from Dr. Seuss’ famous book.
On December 16, Santa will visit the Resource Center, and several SaddleBrooke Rotarians will read Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer to an audience of 150-200 children and their parents. Later, the youngsters will be able to take home a copy of the book. Pack 299 of the Boy Scouts has filled 167 stockings with neat gifts. Each child will receive one of these, which has been lovingly sewn by members of Grace Community Church. This event is definitely community oriented and eagerly anticipated by all.
Elizabeth purchases most of the books online. Naturally, these cost money, so donations are gratefully accepted. Elizabeth’s programs, which are recognized community wide, also now receive several grants. She has an excellent background as an educator with training in social work from Pima Community College and special certification as a parent educator.
Elizabeth’s impact on the community has been great. She has introduced hundreds of children to the joys of reading and their parents to the rewards of teaching. That is why the SaddleBrooke Rotary Club named her Community Leader of the Year for 2007-2008. No one could be more deserving!