We recently added a new team member to our Community Impact staff. Maria Torrez Anderson became our new Early Literacy Coordinator in September. In this position, funded by the Communities Supporting Early Literacy grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, Maria will will help develop strategic action plans for early literacy and coordinate existing early literacy work within Shawnee County. She also will serve as the lead for the Shawnee County Campaign for Grade-Level Reading.
Maria has lived in Topeka off and on since 1972. She studied journalism at Barton County Community College before earning a bachelor’s degree from Washburn. Her love of language and literacy led her to more than a decade of work in libraries and bookstores. She has also worked with Child Care Aware, the Kaw Valley Girl Scout Center, the American Red Cross and the Kansas Family Partnership. Most recently she was the Volunteer Coordinator for the Topeka Police Department, where she created and directed the Topeka Police Citizens Academy.
Her favorite hobby, as you might guess, is reading. She says she wants all children to grow up with the same good memories of reading that she has, like spending Saturdays searching for books at the library with her mother and brother. She also is a football, basketball and hockey fan.
Since United Way staff are still working primarily from home, the best way to contact Maria is by email at email@example.com.