Stacy Penaranda of Lewes has spent a career being devoted to children. In May, the Lancaster, Pa., native took the helm at non-profit Read Aloud Delaware in Sussex County as the county coordinator.
“Service and children,” explained Penaranda, “go hand-in-hand.”
A Georgetown University graduate, Penaranda brings years of experience in education, training and organization to Read Aloud. Before joining the statewide children’s literacy program, she worked for 16 years in preschool and kindergarten settings where “reading and literacy were key.”
After a brief stint at Wraparound Delaware, Penaranda said she is happy to be back in the education arena and is looking forward to helping meet Read Aloud’s mission to ensure that each pre-school child in Delaware is regularly read to one-on-one. In Sussex County, that mission extends to 40 sites at childcare centers, preschools and kindergartens.
Despite a volunteer base of more than 250, Penaranda cited a continuing need for volunteers in the western part of the county.
“It is hard to get volunteers in places like Bridgeville, Seaford and Laurel,” she explained, “but there is so much need in those areas.”
Penaranda had nothing but praise for the current volunteers.
“Our volunteers are so dedicated,” she stated. “Everyone just kept going during the long transition period between coordinators in the county.”
In addition to recruiting volunteers, there is always the need for funding sources.
“Non-profits are always competing for limited county and state funds,” said Penaranda. One of her goals is to keep Read Aloud at the forefront of people’s minds. “I want Read Aloud to become a familiar household name in the community.”
“For me personally,” said Penaranda, “I want to become the leader that Read Aloud in Sussex County needs.”
For more information on volunteering or making a donation, contact Stacy Penaranda at Read Aloud Delaware at (302) 856-2527 or visit the website at readalouddelaware.org.