Karol Swenson

Winner of the Sarajane Beal Award for Volunteer Excellence in 2023.

Page Ahead is pleased to present the 2023 Sarajane Beal Award for Volunteer Excellence to Karol Swenson.

Lisa Ceniceros, volunteer of the year Karol Swenson, and Stacey Lane

Karol began volunteering for Page Ahead in January of 2016. In that time, Karol has:

  • Served on our Program Committee for several years (helping to create reading guides for teachers and families)
  • She has been a Story Time volunteer reader to several classrooms
  • Karol has also volunteered at our annual benefit luncheon several times and has helped us back at the office afterwards as well

Last September, Karol helped train our 20 new Story Time volunteers at a special Saturday training session. She has also done this several times over the years. The new volunteers benefited from Karol’s experience to learn how to deliver fun and engaging Story Times to their classes. In January, Karol rejoined the Program Committee and immediately jumped in to support the many site visits at our Story Leaders schools. She visited 11 different classrooms in all, traveling as far north as Everson and as far south as Winlock. These site visits help provide important feedback to help us better support the teachers and students participating in the Story Leaders program.

Karol’s biggest volunteer effort this year, came in supporting Page Ahead’s spring book fairs for Book Up Summer. She helped with book fair set-ups, as a book fair helper, and most importantly as a Book Fair Expert at our Seattle schools. As a Book Fair Expert, Karol was responsible for managing the many Amazon volunteers who helped as personal shoppers at each school location. Karol was the Page Ahead representative who helped work with our school coordinators during their book fairs, to make sure that it was a fun and successful event for students and volunteers. In all, Karol went to 8 different schools, for 19 different shifts, and volunteering over 54 hours for Book Up Summer. Her support of Book Up Summer helped over 1,600 students with selecting their 12 new books for summer reading. That’s a HUGE impact!

Karols’s passion for Page Ahead and her many hours of service to all of our programs, helps us to support so many schools and children with books and the joy of reading.

Thank you, Karol! You truly make a difference at Page Ahead!

See previous winners of this award here.

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