Sya VanGeest

Sya 2Sya is an avid, veteran storyteller comfortable telling to all ages. She's a regular volunteer in schools, children's groups, senior homes, church groups, and special events, and a teacher of the craft of storytelling.* She is an experienced educator with over thirty years as a classroom teacher, consultant, author of curricula and short stories, and teaching librarian in high and elementary schools. 
Sya's stories may come from her life experience growing up as a middle child on a farm, or ancient tales with their roots in oral traditions such as the Bible, folktales, and fairytales.  She finds many gems hidden in the fabulous body of picture books in her large personal collection, to which she regularly adds current gems found at her favourite bookstore in Guelph, The Bookshelf.
Sya is a founding member of the Guelph GoGo Grandmothers (4Gs) (2006). It is part of a global grandmother movement supporting the African Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. That, in addition to personal, loving connections to Africa, explains why Sya is drawn to stories that originate in Africa.
Sya is recognized for lifelong volunteerism, especially engaged in areas reflecting social justice issues.  She was the recipient of the Ontario Library Association Distinguished Service Award in 2004,  the Guelph Women of Distinction for Voluntary Community in 2010, and the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow in 2021. 
Life is good with sixty-plus years of marriage to late husband Lane, sharing the joy of three daughters, four amazing grandchildren, and an adorable great-grandson.
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* Hi Sya,
A very sincere thank you for your amazing presentation and stories yesterday. 
The ladies enjoyed the afternoon very much including how they were engaged in the program. 
I appreciate your amazing storytelling talent that you shared with us.
                                                                                                         ~ Darlene April 19, 2023