The CLiF team is thrilled to welcome our new Data/Office Manager, Kat Lane! While it may be an unusual time to start a new endeavor, Kat is up to the challenge and is already learning the ropes to help keep CLiF running smoothly. She’ll maintain our donor database and finances and perform administrative tasks to make our work possible.
We asked Kat about what she excites her about working for CLiF and why literacy matters to her.
What’s your favorite children’s book or a book that was meaningful to you as a young person?
I remember being fascinated by a collection of Hans Christian Anderson tales, which my mother read to me at night. I think my older sisters probably thought they were “too old” for the stories, because I distinctly remember my mother sitting on just my bed, and reading these to just me, which was pretty special in itself (as the youngest of 3, I didn’t always get alone time with my parents). The stories always took me to far away places, that I loved to imagine in my head. Another favorite book from my childhood was Aesop’s Fables (the morals felt a little like puzzles meant to be solved and, in doing so, made me feel like a keeper of little-known knowledge). Lastly, I’ve also always been a big fan of Dr. Seuss.
Are there particular books you love to read with your kids, either now or when they were younger? What are some of your fondest memories of reading together?
When my children were small, some of our favorite books to read were Elephant & Piggie, by Mo Willems (hilarious), anything by Sandra Boynton (also funny and some of the first books my kids started reading themselves), lots by Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle, and so many more about Vermont, Maine, and animals. We also loved classic fairy tales and nursery rhymes. As a parent of twins, some of my fondest memories of reading together were of me sandwiched between them on our couch, reading together morning, noon, and night (starting when they were babies). But at night especially, after bathtime and in their pj’s, my kids would look forward to each being able to pick out a story that we would read aloud. I don’t think my husband had read a children’s book aloud in a few decades, but he got up to speed real quick! Now that my children are older (11), reading aloud looks very different. We only do it a few days a week at best, but the selections are usually cool chapter books about fictional adventures (like Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, and Cabin on Trouble Creek), and take weeks for us to finish.
Why is literacy important to you? How do you identify with CLiF’s mission to inspire a love of reading and writing among low-income, at-risk, and rural kids in NH and VT?
I was raised in a family of public educators, so some form of “school” has always been a part of my life. Since strong literacy skills at a young age give children the confidence to speak and write about important issues – recognizing that levels of “importance” change as they grow – it creates a foundation for strong communication skills and positive self-image, that they carry with them through childhood and into their adult lives.
What excites you about working with CLiF? What are you looking forward to?
I’m so looking forward to working with CLiF, and contributing to the mission of helping our local younger learners develop strong literacy skills. Recently, the elementary school I was working at was a recipient of CLiF’s Year of the Book grant. During this time my children were in 4th grade there, so I was able to see – first-hand and two-fold – how amazing the Year of the Book program truly is. Seeing our school’s students literally light up when they selected their own brand new (free!) books was so fun and exciting.
In addition to CLiF’s uber-important mission, I’m looking forward to working with the tight-knit team of staff. They have all been so warm, thoughtful, helpful, and knowledgeable in welcoming me on board.
What are you reading these days? What books are most meaningful to you?
I just started reading Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. It was recommended by the Summer Book Club of my alma mater, Colby College. Other recent reads I would recommend include Educated by Tara Westover, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, and Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict.
In general I love historical fiction, but also appreciate books with positive messages/role models, and anything I wouldn’t normally pick on my own! (what I love about being in a book club). I am also making an effort to socially diversify my reading choices.
What do you like to do for fun?
In my free time I like running, paddling, skiing, reading, dabbling in graphic design, and making memories with lots of family adventures.
Welcome to the team, Kat!