Volunteer Spotlight

Kay Castle-Brinker

Q1: Describe yourself in a sentence or two.

Kay: I’m a retired Qualitative Research Consultant, which means finding out how consumers FEEL (no numbers, warm and fuzzy consumer research) about ideas / products / services so clients know how to talk to their customers in a relevant way. In this “refreshment” (re-branding retirement) stage of life, I’m enjoying doing focus groups for not-for-profit organizations and pursuing my passion project, The Granny PAC, and spending quality time with my grandchildren.

Q2: What made you decide to initially get involved with the Literacy Network?

K: Literacy is necessary to operate in life, to communicate effectively, to take care of yourself and your family properly, to get a job, etc., and it gives the confidence to reach for whatever goal or dream you have.

Q3: Describe an experience with a student that really stands out or inspired you.

K: My three girls I tutored this year at Oyler all inspired me in different ways. But one of my girls would come in every week with her own agenda, what book or words she wanted to learn and when she made a mistake she was so hard on herself. She was so eager to learn that I had to work with her to make her understand how well she was doing. Her standards were so high for herself and I just hope she gets the support for that drive she has. Also, if I had to miss a tutoring session because of visiting my grandkids, how their eyes lit up, running to hug me when I returned. I will be following them the rest of their years.

Q4: What do you hope your ultimate impact is?

K: That they know they have one more (or perhaps the only one?) cheerleader in their lives and that they believe in themselves as much as I believe in them. And that reading becomes an integral part of their life that they will never abandon.

Q5: Please tell us a little about Granny PACs.

K: When the Charlottesville racial riots of 2017 occurred, I knew I had to do something. It was shocking to me that we seemed to have made progress in accepting each other so I started stalking children’s bookstores with the idea that if we raise our children from day 1 to be kind and accepting of others, how powerful it would be. So The Granny PAC was born. During these challenging times, teaching our children the life-affirming values of PEACE, ACCEPTANCE, and COMPASSION at early ages becomes even more important. The GRANNY P.A.C.™ offers a combination of 3 children’s books with messages of kindness and acceptance, wrapped in a handmade “PAC” for you and your family to enjoy or to give as a meaningful, unique gift to a young family you care about.