Latham’s Board Chair connects with students on Virtual Storytime

In honor of Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month (in May), Latham Centers welcomed special guests who read stories to our students on Virtual Storytime.*

GUEST READER CHRISTINE GILLSTROM-BURGESS: Latham Centers’ Board of Directors is comprised of dedicated, volunteer community members who provide guidance and oversight for Latham, and who serve as advocates for the individuals we serve, including those with Prader-Willi syndrome. Board Chair Chris Gillstrom-Burgess was a guest reader for our Virtual Storytime recently. While Chris has visited our programs countless times for events like our Year-End Celebration, this was her first time reading a story to students on Zoom, and she was thrilled to have the opportunity.

Chris read Leap (written by JonArno Lawson and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon), a story selected with our Board Chair in mind. Katrina Fryklund, Director of National Outreach, shared, “Brittni, Patrice and I were saving Leap for someone special. It’s a beautifully written and illustrated book that is fun to read, and Chris was the perfect storyteller. We love to include our board members in special events like Storytime—especially in celebration of PWS Awareness Month!”

After Chris finished reading the story, students were curious to learn more about her. Chris answered questions about her career, explaining that she thought about what she loves to do, and that was traveling. “I learned that as a Meeting Planner, I’d be able to travel all over the world. I thought about my goals and dreams, and that’s why I do what I do today. Follow your dreams, kids!” Students were excited to learn that Chris helped plan meetings for the Olympic Games. She told them the Olympics were “crowded and fun, with tons of energy. There are lots of athletes walking around, and different fun events!”

Katrina said this Storytime was extra special because one of our attendees from Colorado took his computer outside to show everyone his chickens and rooster! “The kiddos always love seeing animals, but it’s not every day that the kiddos get to see one of their peers’ farms.”

Thank you for reading, Chris, and for everything you do for Latham. We also want to thank the amazing students for their enthusiasm, energy, and curiosity – they make Storytime so much fun!

* Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening, students at Latham Centers come together online for a good book and an interactive social hour. Each reader brings something special to Virtual Storytime. Whether they are a legislative or non-profit leader, a professional in the PWS community, a weather forecaster, or other surprise “Zoom” guest, they have provided the gift of storytelling and delightful conversation. Virtual Storytime has become a joyful part of Latham’s culture over the past couple of months. Our Latham School students on campus in Brewster – and students around the country – eagerly anticipate the 6:00 p.m. sessions with one another.

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