Today we feature Lori Moore, one of the 2013 award winners recently honored at the sixth annual Champ Celebration. CIS Board Member, Jeff Patton, who is also CEO of Kalamazoo Community Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services presented the Champ Awards. (Installment 2 of a 9 part series. You can read the first one here.)
What more can I do? This is the question Lori Moore posed to herself and CIS Executive Director, Pam Kingery, after being inspired by the work of others after attending last year’s Champs celebration. Pam pointed out that since 2005, she has been lending her celebrity status to elevate awareness of the important work the community is doing through CIS. Proceeds from the sale of her popular Potluck Pals holiday cookbook have benefited CIS, as well as many other great non-profit organizations that are CIS partners. She uses her Lori Moore Show as a platform to elevate the visibility of needs we have identified—particularly the need for volunteer tutors—as well as the important work the community is doing through Communities In Schools. She has warmly welcomed into her studio our CIS partners, volunteers, Site Coordinators, Directors, and Kalamazoo Public School students.
“Still, what more can I do?” she asked. And thus, in the fall of 2012, the Lori Moore Corps was born when she reached out through the air waves and recruited some of her faithful listeners. “So far, we have placed 23 of Lori’s fans as individual volunteers throughout the schools,” says Carly Wiggins, Director of Volunteer Services. “I couldn’t imagine doing my job without her!”
On Tuesdays, now, after her morning has started at 3:50a.m. and when her radio work is done and she has slipped out of range of WKZO listeners, you’ll find her in Arcadia Elementary School’s library surrounded by seven 4th graders. Over lunch, the children check out books and eagerly discuss what they have been reading. They weren’t surprised to hear that their “Miss Lori” was getting a Champ award. “Youshould give her an award,” says one, “because she lets us have fun with books and we are all reading way more than we used to.” Miss Lori, they will tell you, is funny, nice, great, goofy, understanding, smart, sarcastic, a grown up with a good sense of humor. High praise coming from a bunch of fourth graders. One student pointed out that reading more is making her want to write more. Another echoed similar thoughts. “I’m getting higher grades in my writing and my parents were real glad they came to conferences this year.”
Jayce sums it up well. “I’m just so grateful to be one of the kids in her bookclub. That she takes time out of her day to be with us is really special.”
Lori Moore, we thank you for helping kids stay in school and achieve in life.