Reading Seed, ELAA, and Administration Gain New Staff Members

We’d like to introduce our three newest staff members. We’re so excited to have them on board! Discover what each of them brings to Literacy Connects…


Kate Van Roekel – ELAA Teacher Education & Training Coordinator

“When I was a kid in Iowa and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always answered ‘teacher.’ I’m lucky to be living the dream!”  After finishing undergrad (Secondary Social Studies from the University of Missouri), Kate went straight into the Peace Corps. She served in Chad (04-06) and Mauritania (06-07).  In both places, she taught English as a Foreign Language to middle school students and other community members, and discovered that she loved teaching English (and learning about cultures and languages!).  After finishing her service, she came to the UA, where she got her MA in Language, Reading, and Culture.  She has been teaching in the Intensive English Program and Teacher Training Program at the UA’s Center for English as a Second Language since 2010. She is an incorrigible book worm and equally incorrigible cyclist (say hi if you see her out on the roads or trails!).  She is passionate about education in all of its forms and loves learning from her students as much as she loves teaching them.


Katie Cooper – Reading Seed Program Coordinator

Katie, who has lived in Tucson for most of her life, graduated from the University of Arizona in December of 2015 with a degree in English. Her studies focused heavily on linguistics and education, and she remains passionate about sharing the importance of language and communication. While going to school, she worked as a manager of Discovery Guides at the Children’s Museum Tucson, a position in which she regularly delivered hands-on educational activities to elementary school students all over the city. The charm and potential of young children inspired Katie to become a reading coach with the Reading Seed Kinder Project in 2015. Volunteering with Reading Seed informed her interest in nonprofit work by offering numerous opportunities to get involved in the community. She is beyond excited to get the chance to work for Literacy Connects and learn from the many incredible and talented people on staff.

SaraWebsiteSara Wolfe Vaughan – Marketing & Communications Coordinator

First and foremost, Sara is a storyteller. She primarily writes fiction, although a lot of her work is a hybrid of fiction and non-fiction. In December of 2016 she graduated from the University of Arizona with an MFA in Fiction. During her time at the UA she taught English 101 and Creative Writing, while also volunteering for Literacy Connects’ Adult Basic Literacy, and Reading Seed programs. Marketing is all about storytelling, and she looks forward to sharing the many stories that live under the umbrella of Literacy Connects.



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