Close this search box.

“Kids’ innate joy, goodness, and honesty have truly enriched my life.”

Sheryl Smith, an enthusiastic volunteer, comes weekly to Rainbows and reads to children of different backgrounds and learning abilities. She encourages them to select suitable books, and she then discusses the illustrations and content with them. Sheryl believes that all children should have someone who consistently reads to them, thus, fostering their reading skills. “I just like kids because they are so interesting, unique, and funny. We talk and listen, we joke and laugh, and we enjoy delightful stories,” Sheryl says.

“We absolutely appreciate Sheryl, her calm and humorous demeanor, and her dedication to reading and spending time with our preschoolers one-on-one,” comments Michelle Croomes, Early Care and Education Coordinator.

One dedicated classroom teacher reports, “When I send a student who is not on task to Sheryl for a couple of stories, a different, ready-to-learn child returns.”

Sheryl also volunteers at “Dear Neighbors Ministries” where she works in various capacities to benefit the poor of Wichita. She is also involved with “HumanKind Ministries” where she leads a group who cook and serve hot, hearty dinners to the homeless during February and March. Her group also supplies necessities such as socks, hats, gloves, and jackets.

Besides her volunteer jobs, Sheryl enjoys time with John, her retired husband of 53 years, whose career was in the communications arena. They are both native Oklahomans and proud graduates and supporters of OU. They are fierce football fans who come from a strong heritage of “Sooner Fever”.

“I’m always thrilled to say that before Oklahoma became the 47th state in 1907, we had a fine university founded in 1894, “The Pride of the Prairie”. Sheryl also loves swimming, walking her dog, cleaning and decorating her house, and joining church projects.

Sheryl’s daughter, Stephanie lives in Topeka and works as the office manager for the Consumer Fraud Department of the Attorney General’s office. Her son, Bradley lives in Tacoma, Washington with his wife and three children. He is a physicians’ assistant and a major in the United States Army.

Sheryl holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree, with a major in English from the University of Oklahoma (OU) and a Master of Secondary Education Degree also with a major in English from Wichita State University (WSU). She is a retired junior high/middle school teacher and a reading and eye therapist. She taught for many years in Oklahoma City Public Schools and Wichita Public Schools in English, speech, and drama. She then taught English and speech at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School for 16 years. After retiring from her classroom teaching career, she joined two eye doctors as a reading and eye therapist for children and stayed in that position for 12 years until the pandemic struck. She also tutored children ranging from 2nd grade to 12th grade at their schools and at her home.

“Kids have always been an enormous part of my life,” said Sheryl. “It has been my privilege to work with youngsters of different ages, backgrounds, abilities, and ethnicities. Their innate joy, goodness, and honesty have truly enriched my life.”