December2012:Matthew McGinnis, Tyler Public Library
Matthew McGinnis has been a wonderful addition to the City of Tyler and to all the children he has mentored for nearly two years through the Book Buddy Program. He was the first volunteer to join this program at the Library and has helped establish and expand it to other daycare facilities in our community.
Matthew is a very enthusiastic young man who is passionate about working with children. He enjoys coming up with his own creative and adventurous program ideas. He was placed at Kinder Care, which is one of the many child care centers in Tyler that cannot regularly transport their students to the Library for children’s programs. Matthew made it possible for them to experience literature-based entertainment.
“He was very dedicated to the children at the center. Due to his class schedule, and because he did not want to miss out on reading to the school age children, he visited the school twice on Thursdays. Also during the Summer Reading Club, Matthew frequently came in to help out with programs, especially those involving our teenagers. If he was available, he was always willing to offer as many hours as his schedule would allow,” said the Library’s Programming Associate, Linda Gray.
McGinnis will sadly be leaving the Tyler area this December when he graduates from Tyler Junior College with his Associates Degree in Early Education. He is transferring to Texas State University in January to complete his Bachelor Degree in Recreational Therapy. He plans to open a non-profit afterschool center with his brother, where kids can receive free tutoring in a safe, judgment-free environment.
“It’s been an honor to have Matthew in our program. It’s rare to meet a young person with such enthusiasm for helping others and mentoring children that can also do it with so much joy and heart!” said Volunteer Coordinator, Breanna Hoard.
McGinnis describes his passion for volunteering and reminisces on his experience, “I love volunteering and grew up serving the community. I just love seeing the smile on peoples’ faces, and their joy is the greatest thing in the world. People ask me what I love to do and what's my hobby and I tell them volunteering. Here in Tyler I got involved was the City and
Volunteer Tyler, and met some fantastic people with a servants heart. I just jumped in and helped in any way I could.It has been a real honor working with the City. A memory I will always keep is the drawing of me from one of the classrooms and all the children signed it with scribbles (they were still learning how to write their names). Also, romping through the memorial park reading We’re Going On A Bear Hunt was truly memorable. Most of all,I saw children become excited about reading and it was truly a precious gift.”
Thank you Matthew; you will be missed but we know your future is bright. The City of Tyler wishes you all the best with your future studies and career!