Connecting and Serving

In 2006, Shirley Pyle was working for the State of Michigan at the Department of Human Services. She noticed some clients struggled with reading and writing and wanted to help connect them with services. This led her to join the Montcalm Area Reading Council, and 15 years later, Shirley continues to work to connect people with literacy services as a member of the MARC Board of Directors. “Reading and writing is important to getting along in today’s world – one needs to be able to fill out a job application, read the instructions on a prescription, order off a menu, and many other daily functions in addition to reading a good book for pleasure. There are things we can do to help each other, to make our communities stronger, and one of them is help someone with their reading skills; MARC is the organization that helps facilitate that.”

An avid reader, Shirley recognizes literacy skills can be taken for granted. “Not everybody learns in the same way. Not every child is lucky enough to have someone read to them daily, take them to story time, or help them acquire a library card at a young age. Some people move frequently and have interrupted educations. Some children are sick and miss segments of learning at school. But what one can discover in books is limitless, exciting, heart-warming, interesting … No one should be denied the joy of reading.”

During Shirley’s years with MARC, she has served in many roles, including Vice Chairperson, Treasurer, and current Secretary of the MARC Board, and she would encourage others to consider serving, too. “We can fulfil our civic responsibilities by loaning our talents to community organizations. If you can help connect people in need with MARC, if you can connect people who could be tutors with MARC, if you can bring donors to MARC, if you have ideas for MARC, if you want to be a part of MARC at the leadership level, then being a Board Member might be a good fit for you.”

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