Volunteer Spotlight: Toni O’Dowd | BookSpring

Volunteer Spotlight: Toni O’Dowd

Volunteer Spotlight

Toni O’ Dowd is a retired elementary school principal from the Dallas area with over 15 years of educational experience. As a principal, she utilized books and story-time as a means of calming students having a difficult day. She would pull them into her office to select books from her collection and simply spend sometime reading with them.

Toni began her volunteer work and advocacy with BookSpring in January 2019.  Since then she has assisted with over 30 events serving children and families across Central Texas. Her enthusiasm for literacy makes her an absolute delight to work with!

Go Program Manager, Katie Mathews said, “Toni is INCREDIBLE! She is a proactive, reliable volunteer who has a true passion and gift for reading to children. She is a read a loud superstar with great experience both as a teacher and principal, and I know that when I send Toni out to a site I don’t have to wonder about whether or not the kids will get a great and memorable reading experience. We love her and are so thankful for her service and dedication to our mission!”

Check out this mini interview with Toni on her volunteer service.

Why did you choose to volunteer with BookSpring? Will you continue to volunteer? If so, why? 

 Toni: I chose BookSpring after hearing about it on KXAN news. I wanted to get involved in this wonderful reading program.  I will continue to volunteer because it is so rewarding to see the children’s response to getting “forever” books and having someone to read to them.

Do you believe in the importance of increasing access to books in the home for everyone?  

Toni: I highly believe that if children have books in the home that they will develop a true love for books and reading.

Tell us about your favorite volunteer activity.  

Toni: My favorite volunteer activity is actually going into the child development centers and reading to the children. Also, helping the librarians at the various schools.

What is your favorite children’s book? 

Toni: My favorite children’s book is Where The Wild Things Are.
We are so thankful to have someone as committed as Toni assisting our programs and ensuring students have the best experience when participating in a BookSpring program.

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