Incoming Graceland students for Fall 2022 –

Pay Your Deposit

Volunteers Wanted for New Southern Iowa RSVP Program – Literacy Leaders


Press Release

December 14, 2018

Lorrie Long, RSVP volunteer, reading through a book with two female students

Graceland University education students learn about the literacy leaders program with Southern Iowa RSVP volunteer Lorrie Long (right).

Southern Iowa RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) is currently recruiting volunteers for a new program, Literacy Leaders, in Decatur and Ringgold Counties.

The Literacy Leaders program is a collaboration between Southern Iowa RSVP and the Graceland University School of Education; and it’s a partnership that makes sense. Southern Iowa RSVP connects volunteers 55 and over with community organizations, and the Graceland School of Education’s unique approach allows students to decide how they would like to learn for the lifelong learning and enhancement of overall quality of life.

With involvement from both groups, Literacy Leaders connects community volunteers with students in local early learning centers to teach early reading concepts using books. The volunteers focus on teaching students the role of the author and illustrator, where to begin reading, and print concepts. The goal of the program is to promote literacy in early learning centers while sharing the joy of reading with each individual student.

“The program is a win-win situation. Young children gain from having another caring adult in their life and experience the joy of listening to books; the volunteers get the satisfaction of knowing they are helping build a solid foundation for all the literary skills to follow,” said Jane Hall Chaillie, EdD, Assistant Professor of Education at Graceland University.

“Literacy leaders give children the opportunity to explore books and develop the concepts needed for early reading. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of a program that will expand the minds of children,” said Seth Baumfalk, a student at Graceland University.

Volunteer training will be provided by Dr. Chaillie’s class Dec. 12 at Graceland University, and the program will run from January 2019 through April 2019. The Literacy Leaders pilot program will be implemented in two early learning centers with the goal of expanding the program in the four-county area (Decatur, Ringgold, Clarke and Union counties) in late spring. 

Lisa Kolb, Southern Iowa RSVP Program Director said, “We are very excited about Literacy Leaders. When we reached out to Dr. Jane Hall Chaillie and her class about helping design a school readiness program for Southern Iowa RSVP, their enthusiasm was contagious. They have created a great opportunity for the preschoolers in our area.” 

Graceland University student Kamryn Leavitt emphasized how excited she was to have the opportunity to be involved with Literacy Leaders. “The Literacy Leaders program is a great opportunity for multiple people from the community to get involved,” said Leavitt.

Southern Iowa RSVP is dedicated to connecting volunteers 55 and over with community organizations in Decatur, Clarke, Union and Ringgold counties. Those interested in volunteering with Literacy Leaders or other Southern Iowa RSVP volunteer opportunities can contact the office at 641.784.5046 or via email at


Related News

Press Release

Meet the New Faces of Recruitment

May 24, 2022

Learn More

Press Release

Don’t Hate it, Debate it!

May 16, 2022

Learn More

Press Release

Boden Partners with Lamoni Community Center to Host Art Walk

May 5, 2022

Learn More

Press Release

Graceland University Music Department Gives Back

April 22, 2022

Learn More

Press Release

Graceland Announces Dr. Matthew Naylor as Spring Commencement Speaker

April 20, 2022

Dr. Matthew Naylor, PhD, will address Graceland’s Spring 2022 graduates at its commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 1 in Lamoni, Iowa. Naylor is the President and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City,

Learn More

Alumni, Press Release

Dennis Shields Named President-Chancellor of Southern University and A&M College

March 31, 2022

Learn More