Greetings! My name is Cassie and I’m so excited to join the CLiF team as the new literacy program manager and support our incredible mission dedicated to expanding literacy skills amongst Vermont and New Hampshire’s children and youth. In my role, I’ll be coordinating the Year of the Book, Rural Libraries, Community Building, and Revive programs; planning the annual Community Literacy and Rural Library Conferences; and strategizing outreach and promotion for our programs in general.
I have a passion for educational equity and this position rings true to my personal values, especially since I am a lover of children’s literature. Some of my favorite authors/illustrators include Christian Robinson, Jan Brett, Jason Chin (one of our fabulous presenters here at CLiF!), and Kate DiCamillo. If you haven’t yet listened to the On Being podcast with Kate DiCamillo, it’s an insightful interview that showcases how a writer gets kids and also isn’t afraid to take on big themes in her work. Animals figure prominently in her books and there’s a reason why so many children’s books feature animal characters—because they offer readers of all ages an entry point into empathy and imagination.
According to DiCamillo, “It is very much true that we, as readers, whether we’re adults or kids, we let down our guard a little more easily for an animal character, I think. It’s a shortcut into the human heart.”
I highly recommend DiCamillo’s new book The Beatryce Prophecy that is appropriate for ages 8 and up and a great summer read for adults. Bonus: it has illustrations by another of my favorites Sophie Blackall. I promise you’ll never look at a goat in the same way after reading it!
Wrapping up, I’ll share that writing and reading have always been central in my life. It’s like breathing for me. So I feel especially grateful for this opportunity to combine my past experiences of working in a school library along with many years of nonprofit communications, and I look forward to connecting with the CLiF community in the coming months.
Please reach out to say hi!