Be the Change – Marty Mautz: The Story Lady

Marty Mautz, Volunteer Story Coordinator at the Anderson Library in Shasta County, bubbles with joy when she describes Storytime. For 23 years Marty has captivated young children with stories, songs and crafts. “I love doing Storytime,” she says. “People tell me ‘thank you,’ but I get back as much as I give.”

And give she does. Marty plans each month’s series with a theme and creates an exciting format for the 45-minute program, which is held on Thursday afternoons at 3:30pm during the school year. She decorates the storytime room with props that reflect the story of the week. She uses puppets, toys, costumes, sports equipment and other props to enhance each story. Guest visitors from the community participate, and often food treats that relate to the story are served.

“I have always loved children’s books!” Marty says. “Even as a teenager babysitting I enjoyed reading to preschoolers. If you ask me what my all-time favorite book is, it would be a children’s book: Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I started reading to my children from the beginning of their lives; it was part of our evening routine.  I love books that rhyme, and like to make each story come alive.” Marty says she secretly always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, and she used to read in her children’s classrooms – and would bring veggies from the garden to go with the stories… “I’m going to keep doing storytime until I run out of ideas,” she says, “and I don’t see that happening!”

Marty discovers unique celebrations and builds on them. Did you know that October is National Pizza Month? Marty does. On October 4, Anderson Library Storytime participants will enjoy the story The Pizza That We Made by Joan Holub, along with pizza slices provided by Anderson Round Table Pizza.

Marty knows almost everyone in the Anderson community, and the people and businesses generously support Storytime. “I feel blessed. I go to businesses asking them to help, and they say, ‘Of course!’” she states. The local media also enthusiastically support the program.

Storytime is geared toward children ages 3-7; however, older siblings often like participating. Special guests provide a strong draw. Through Marty’s job as secretary to the assistant principal at Cottonwood’s West Valley High School (WVHS), she connects with older youth who enjoy entertaining the children. On October 25, for example, storytime participants will meet WVHS varsity baseball coach Eric Proscher and some of the team.

Holidays bring extra fun. Marty will read The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz, and each child will receive a mini pumpkin donated by Hawes Ranch & Farm Supply in Anderson on October 18. On December 6, Redding children’s author Linda Boyden visits as Mrs. Santa and will read to the children. On December 13, Santa Claus makes an appearance; he’ll bring treats to the children and listen to their Christmas wishes. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss will be the story on December 20, and each child will receive a book as a gift.

Christy Windle, Anderson Library Branch Manager, has worked at the library for six years and appreciates Marty’s skills. “Marty is wonderful,” she says. “She does it all, anything we need. She loves working with the kids. I don’t worry about a thing when she’s here. She makes my job easier.”

Marty says her husband Hank, to whom she’s been married for 34 years, enthusiastically supports her library work. Hank is a retired fishing guide who, after retirement, developed a small bamboo nursery at their home in Anderson. Tallgrass Bamboo Farm sells bamboo for landscaping and bamboo shoots for eating. Marty handles the business aspects of the farm and Hank cares for the bamboo. The couple has two adult children. Daughter Katy works in the office of the law firm Barr and Mudford in Redding, and son Kevin attends Humboldt State University, majoring in botany.

Marty sparkles with life. “I like to laugh and feel happy,” she says. “I like everyone to be happy and have a good time. I especially want people to leave Storytime feeling like they’ve had a whole program.” With the enthusiasm she brings, everyone does!

To contact Marty Mautz or the Anderson Library, call (530) 365-7685.

[sws_blue_box box_size=”580″]Our Be the Change column mission is to feature those, especially from the North State, who are actively making a difference in the lives of children and families. If you would like to nominate someone who is making a difference, please write to pn@northstateparent.com [/sws_blue_box]

Carolyn Warnemuende
About Carolyn Warnemuende

Author Carolyn Warnemuende has two daughters and five grandchildren, and lives with her husband in Redding. She writes parenting and educational articles, sponsors a school in Uganda, and visits Africa twice a year. She receives great joy in taking daily care of her four-year-old granddaughter who was adopted from Ethiopia.

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