Reading Camp Calls New Director
Michelle Sjogren of Lexington has been called as the Executive Director of Reading Camp, a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington. Bishop Douglas Hahn and the Reading Camp Steering Committee selected Ms. Sjogren (pronounced Show-grin) from a pool of forty-three applicants after a two month search process.
Ms. Sjogren is a native of Lexington, and has recently worked in communications and public relations in the health care field. Previously she spent several years in Florida working with various education and nonprofit organizations. She was Director of Communications and School Volunteers for the St. Lucia School District, Ft. Pierce, FL. As part of this work she led the district's Educational Foundation, a service to enhance community support and education. Additionally she has taught in community colleges for several years, including the Bluegrass Community and Technical College.
Ms. Sjogren has a Bachelor's Degree in Communication from the University of Florida and a Masters in English Arts from the University of North Florida.
"We are thrilled to have Michelle Sjogren join us", said Bishop Hahn. "She brings to this ministry a passion for helping students learn as well as great skills in fundraising, communication, and volunteer management. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and I believe that under her leadership Reading Camp will continue to thrive. Reading Camp is about raising the quality of life for the children we engage. That is part of God's ministry in the world and we are proud to be part of it. Michelle will be a great asset in that ministry."
"I feel so blessed to be chosen as the Director of Reading Camp", says Michelle. "This position completely encompasses the passions of my life: children and communication through the written word. Honestly, I don't feel I will be stepping into a job, but into a purpose.
"Reading is, and always has been, essential to my personal and professional life. Reading opens so many doors, a fact that I hope all will take advantage of, especially children. Convincing someone who doesn't like to read and write how amazing it is can be a challenge. However, it is a challenge that is so worth the effort as I have learned in my years in the classroom.
"Working to understand challenges students face creates a trust. This causes them to feel safe and work outside their comfort zone, outside what they THINK they can do. Pretty soon, they not only know someone believes in them, but they believe in themselves. This is what a program like Reading Camp does. What an amazing privilege to be part of this ministry!
"I look forward to serving the children, staff, Diocese, community and the entire Reading Camp Network. We have such an important task. I can't wait to get started!"
Ms. Sjogren is married and the mother of three daughters - a recent college grad, a junior in high school, and a six year old.
Reading Camp is a ministry of the Diocese of Lexington, designed to raise the reading skills of at risk children. There are eight camps in Kentucky and several network camps throughout the country and internationally. To learn more: www.readingcamprocks.org