Retired teacher shines at monthly storytime

January 15, 2016 by



Sometimes it just takes a teacher… First, a preschool teacher to get the attention of a crowd of 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, and then a retired teacher (and principal) to keep it.

• • • • • • • • •

The first at Friday’s Reading with Friends was Chrissy Henderson, who always brings her kids from Golden Rule Preschool to the monthly storytime at Neighbor to Neighbor. When the “guest reader” was delayed in arriving, Chrissy stepped in to keep the kids occupied with several rounds of Simon Says, mixed with a handful of action songs like “Head Shoulders Knees & Toes.”

Then when reader Sister Ann Ashwood arrived, she quickly shifted the preschoolers’ attention to the story of “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” and all the friends Amos made at the zoo.

Sister Ann was a longtime teacher in Grand Junction, Colo., before being appointed principal of Holy Family Catholic School there. After retiring, she was recruited to return to Holy Family as a part-time religious education teacher. Last summer she moved to Concordia to help lead the Sisters of St. Joseph Federation Novitiate program that is based at Manna House of Prayer.

Her teaching experience showed as she engaged her preschool audience in the story about all the animal friends who visit their favorite zookeeper when he stays home for a sick day.

“Reading with Friends” is normally set for the second Friday of the month, but it was postponed a week in January because of the Concordia schools’ lengthy winter break.

The storytime series is for children ages 3, 4 and 5 and begins at 10 a.m. at Neighbor to Neighbor, 103 E. Sixth St. Each session includes playtime and a snack, plus children receive a free copy of that month’s book to take home. Parents, grandparents and other caregivers are invited to enjoy coffee and snacks downstairs at the day center for women while the story is being read upstairs.

The remaining sessions for the 2015-16 school year will be Feb. 12, March 11, April 8 and May 13.

There is a limit of 30 children so parents must register in advance by calling Neighbor to Neighbor at 785/262-4215 or emailing

This year’s “Reading with Friends” is funded by a grant from the Dane G. Hansen Fund, through the Community Foundation for Cloud County, and a gift from the Cloud County Attorney’s Diversion Fund, with continuing support from the Sisters of St. Joseph of Concordia, who operate Neighbor to Neighbor.



One Response to “Retired teacher shines at monthly storytime”

  1. Jodi Creten on January 16th, 2016 6:19 am

    What a treat for all!

Feel free to leave a comment...