Meet our new staff members!

We are excited to welcome five new part-time staff to the SitStayRead team this year!


Allison Shackelford

Part-Time Program Leader

Allison Shackelford is an educator, facilitator, writer, and performance artist who was raised in Birmingham, AL. She received a B.A. in theatre performance from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2014 and is currently pursuing her M.Ed. in Youth Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She discovered her love of reading while devouring mystery novels as a child in an attempt to be more like her mom (her hero). She has happily called Chicago home since August of 2015. She is the proud mother of a five year-old cat named Lucy.


Christine Huge

Part-Time Development Assistant

Throughout Christine’s life she has worked with kids in many different settings. Seeing a child smile after working hard to overcome a challenge makes her feel warm inside - add in her love of dogs and voila - SitStayRead's mission is right inline with hers! In her spare time she enjoys hiking, reading and practicing yoga. Christine holds a B.A. in Psychology, Human Resource Management Certification, and 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certification.


Kayla Martinez

Part-Time Program Leader

Kayla has loved reading since she can remember. She learned about her own Mexican descent and other rich cultures and languages through stories, music, and art which led her to become passionate about diversity and justice in learning for all. Kayla worked with refugee children of all ages from around the world for over 2 years, going on to lead a social justice-based youth development program for middle schoolers at a low-income public school where she met wonderful young people and noticed the importance of literacy in students’ academic success.

Kayla is from Chicago and helps to take care of a mini black Schnauzer senior named Jerry.


Kim Grzymala

Part-Time Program Leader

Kim has been involved in the educational field for the last 15 years as a special education teacher and instructional coach. In her personal life, she can be found entertaining her boy/girl twins Avery & Oliver, older daughter Vivienne, as well as her two silly dogs Buda & Brewski.

She is passionate about promoting inclusiveness, empowerment, the growth mindset and, of course, reading instruction! Though Kim sees learning to read as more of an experience than something to be taught. SitStayRead's mission is a perfect example of this!


Tarika Ranson

Part-Time Community Liaison

Tarika is a native Chicagoan, growing up in the Engelwood neighborhood and attending Chicago Public Schools. She fell in love with SitStayRead’s mission because she did not have literacy programs while attending CPS, but luckily was always a passionate reader, finishing Anne Rice's “The Vampire Lestat” in one day. She is currently a student at Loyola University Chicago pursuing a BS in Environmental Policy. She loves discovering new music artists, attending any concert, and watching Korean love dramas. She does not have any pets currently but hopes to get a tortoise soon!