Volunteer Spotlight – Claire Reiman
At New Chapters our volunteers share our passion to inspire a love of books in at-risk youth. This is the third in our Volunteer Spotlight series, where we ask one of our volunteers a few questions.
Meet Claire, who joined the New Chapters volunteer team in 2012. Since the beginning days of our first summer reading program at YESS, and creating from the ground up our first library there, Claire has worked tirelessly to help build warm and inviting library spaces for the kids. Claire currently volunteers at YESS during our weekly library evening hours. She is also one of our Reading Incentive Program Coordinators who does a fabulous job creating and implementing quarterly programs that are exciting, challenging and rewarding for the kids. Her joyful smile, kind spirit, and love of kids is evident every time she is in the library helping them find the perfect book.
Thank you, Claire, for all that you do for the kids and for supporting the New Chapters’ mission. We are truly grateful!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in central Iowa and went to Iowa State University and am a big Cyclone fan. I have two boys and a husband and am gaining a daughter this summer.
How did you get involved with New Chapters?
Right place, right time, and right friends. I have been friends with Stacie Palmer for years and was excited to help bring a summer reading program to YESS that first year. It has been an honor to continue my involvement with the organization.
What are you most excited about in your volunteer role with New Chapters?
I love seeing kids connect, find inspiration, comfort and solace in a good book. I love seeing them grow in confidence as they express their opinions about what they are reading and have their thoughts listened to and valued. They are the best reviewers of books!
How has volunteering had an impact on you?
It has made me more aware of the struggles of many families in our community. We need to all do our part to help those in need as it builds a better community for all.
What is your favorite book?
It’s got to be Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I first read it with my youngest son and it was completely captivating. I loved the characters, plot and creativity! I still love it today.
What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
I work full time for a non-profit in Des Moines, Iowa Center for Economic Success. We provide education and resources for Iowans wishing to seek entrepreneurship or to improve their financial success. It is a very rewarding career to watch people take an idea and learn how to make it bloom providing needed extra resources to themselves and their families. Similar to the kids at a New Chapters library, my clients gain confidence, strength and personal growth as they explore entrepreneurship for themselves.
What do you wish other people knew about New Chapters?
Tiny ideas, backed with passion can make a huge impact. New Chapters provides at-risk youth an opportunity to grow, learn and gain valuable skills through books. We are always in need of time, talent, and treasure, so I invite others to join in worthwhile mission! You always gain more than you ever imagine.
About New Chapters Libraries
At New Chapters, our collective passion is to inspire a love of books among at-risk youth. We believe that strong reading skills are essential for every child and that a good book can be very therapeutic and offer a ‘vacation’ from the hardships of everyday life.
New Chapters is committed to making a wide variety of current and high-interest books readily available by creating and refurbishing libraries in residential facilities catering to at-risk children. We also conduct programs aimed at fostering a love of books and increasing reading skills.