United Way of Cass County names Program Director for Cass County Reading Railroad

Last Updated on July 6, 2015 by cassnetwork

danhauserKelsey Danhauser brings six years of exceptional customer care professional experience to address people’s needs to the United Way of Cass County.  On June 15, Kelsey was named  Program Director for the Cass County Reading Railroad.  She will serve as the community’s resource on early childhood education by working to coordinate collaborative opportunities at a community-wide level.

“The United Way is pleased to bring Kelsey on board to support and strengthen our education goals and initiatives to help children and youth achieve their potential,” says Joyce Mayhill, executive director for the United Way.  Kelsey is from Cass County and has experience in working with people and families at Martin’s Supermarket and the Cass County Family Y.

She recently received her Bachelor of Science degree in Business-Applied Management.

“We are looking forward to working with Kelsey as the Reading Railroad Director.  She has such a great personality, and is very hard working. She will bring a lot of new ideas and enthusiasm to the program. We are excited for the opportunities she will bring to not only the children in Cass County but also to our local communities,” says Michele Starkey, Reading Railroad Advisory Board Chair.

The Cass County Reading Railroad and the community will benefit from Kelsey’s exceptional communication skills, partner relations, mediation capability, and from being people-focused.

As Program Director, parts of her role will be to develop and coordinate early childhood education opportunities, to collaborate and partner with community organizations, and to seek and write grants.  For additional information, contact Joyce Mayhill at (574) 753-3533.

United Way’s Cass County Reading Railroad program began in 2005 and provides over 900 children from birth to 5 years old free books each month.  That is over 11,000 age appropriate books distributed to Cass County homes.  Over 450 Cass County first graders visit the library each month with Reading Railroad where 5,600 books are checked out and read each year.

Fifty business partners are reading in classes every month.  Children who are not yet prepared to enter Kindergarten receive six weeks of learning experience in Begindergarten™.  In 2014, children who tested at 37% of their mastery skills jumped to an average of 87% mastery of skills at the end of the six weeks.

Reading Railroad’s future goal is to formulate a Cass County School Readiness Equation.

School Readiness is the state of early development that enables a child to engage in and benefit from kindergarten learning experiences as a stepping stone to sustain school success.

When families are supported, educators are prepared, and the community keeps young children as a priority, children will enter school ready to thrive.

SOURCE: News release from United Way of Cass County

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