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, special events, and a teacher of the craft of story telling. She is an experienced educator with more than thirty years as a classroom teacher, consultant, author of curricula and short stories and teacher-librarian in high schools 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 bookshore 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 currently Sya is drawn to stories that originate in Africa. She is part of 4Gs Griots, a troupe of 4Gs tellers who regularly visit schools, seniors homes and churches to dramatize African stories and bring awareness of the great needs of African gogos and their amazing accomplishments caring for orphans in their community. 
Sya was the recipient of the Ontario Library Associaton Distinguished Service Award in 2004 and the Guelph Women of Distinction for Voluntary Community in 2010. 
Life is good with sixty plus years of marriage to husband Lane, sharing the joy of three daughters and four amazing grandchildren.
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