A Passion To Teach

Katie Sanchez’s dedication manifests itself during Tykes and Toddlers Story Time every Thursday. Parents and children participate in reading, singing, and the total tactile experience of books. Here she coaxes Hyah and her mom, Juanita Kirgis, to feel the book and watch the lion’s mouth open and close.

Katie Sanchez’s dedication manifests itself during Tykes and Toddlers Story Time every Thursday. Parents and children participate in reading, singing, and the total tactile experience of books. Here she coaxes Hyah and her mom, Juanita Kirgis, to feel the book and watch the lion’s mouth open and close. Photo by Andy Towle. |

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Tegan and his mom, Renae Meyer, have a grand time sharing touch-me books.

Some people find their passion early in life. Lucky people also find the outlet for their passion, whether writing prose, flying planes or working at a library, organizing, formatting and involving young people in reading programs. Katie Sanchez’s intense involvement with the programs sponsored by the Payson Public Library shines through when leading parents and children or teens in activities.

A creative writing class for teens, the Reading Corner, a scrapbooking experience, all contain some element of Katie’s commitment.

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Sanchez concentrates on helping a youngster glue a felt turkey together.

Sanchez’s dedication manifests itself during Tykes and Toddlers Story Time, every Thursday. Of course, many other activities are also available at the library, but this one especially, brings out her creative enthusiasm.

Parents of the two-and-under crowd also participate in this reading, singing, and the total tactile experience of books.

Sanchez studied at Arizona Christian University (formerly Southwestern College) in Phoenix and graduated with a degree in elementary education. Her husband, a native Paysonite, desired a return to Payson in 2006 and the move was made.

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Kyra Ball takes time to goof around during Crafty Kidz in the afternoon.

Her experience in teaching as a substitute teacher in the second grade at Payson Elementary School prepared her for the position at the library. When applying for a different position with the Town of Payson, Katie chanced upon the position open at the library. Serendipity struck in the nick of time. She applied and as part of her application, presented a program designed for encouraging children to read.

Growing up with siblings, two sisters and one brother, helped develop her passion for assisting children, her desire to help them grow and experience life in a positive way. Her parents, always supportive, encouraged creative outlets for their children’s abounding energy.

Many of the library’s programs depend on the person in charge and how they handle the daily activities.

Some programs have been dropped through lack of participation, others thrive and grow, due in part to Katie’s skill and presentation. She works to get the word out about the many, varied activities available at the library.

After parents attend the Tykes and Toddlers program, for instance, word of mouth quickly spreads to other parents looking for things to do with their own children.

Katie and the library fit together like a best selling novel and a line of people waiting to check it out. What could be better than that?

A positive reason the programs at the library have been going well pertains to the introduction of different programs for different age groups.

For example, the Reading Corner provides young people with a mentor, a one-on-one situation, where the mentor reads the first time and then helps the child read thereafter.

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Katie Sanchez helps Monica Butler examine the seagull’s beak.

Katie keeps track of successful endeavors and analyzes why a program became a hit with the parents, the kids or teens. Building on this information reinforces a goal of other successful activities.

Several really big hits include: cake pops, Triangle Academy boxing demonstration, drawing class, creative writing class, and special events like the recent Super Hero Day. Children ages 3 to 7 came dressed as their favorite super hero.

Katie understands the need to call on library staff members when activities are too large for one person to handle. Dr. Seuss’ birthday celebration qualifies as one of those events. Cinco de Mayo, Halloween and many other activities also fit into this category.

Finding your passion, exploring the possibilities it opens up results as one of the most rewarding experiences we can have in life. Katie Sanchez’s intense and passionate goal shines through whenever she engages the minds of those young people in her charge.

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