We are proud to announce: The Kay Yoder Endowed Scholarship Fund has been established to support those writers with a passion for United States history. The scholarship honors Kay Yoder, a longtime friend of Highlights and the Highlights Foundation.
Kay Yoder has led an active and fulfilling life–and it’s far from over! Born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, in 1921, she was a witness to history as a survivor of the 1936 Johnstown Flood. She’s been a wife, mother of three, home-economics major, and a teacher. She attended Indiana University in Pennsylvania and was a substitute teacher at Princeton High School in New Jersey, where she went on to teach English full time for many years.
Ms. Yoder is also a writer, whose work has been published in Highlights and Cobblestone, and an accomplished artist and poet. She is the author and illustrator of Portraying My Life in Paint and Poetry. Many of her paintings have been seen on exhibition. In addition, she loves to listen to books on tape and especially enjoys nonfiction and historical biographies.
She also loves music and throughout her school years played French horn and trumpet as well as the bugle at summer camp. After seeing her in a high school play, Kay was scouted by Hollywood producer Max Gordon. She even danced with Gene Kelly!
Kay loves to travel, and with her late husband, Wayne, traveled all over the world. One of their last trips, which they took when they were in their eighties, was a journey to Gibraltar and Morocco.
For many years, Kay and Wayne were regulars at Chautauqua during the time the Highlights Writers Conference was held there. Nowadays, Ms. Yoder often joins her daughter, Carolyn, editor of Calkins Creek Books, for her retreats at Boyds Mills. In Carolyn’s words, her mom’s presence is “probably the reason so many people return. They love to see her!”
And see her they do! Ms. Yoder is keenly interested in workshop participants–who they are and their current projects. On critique nights, she listens carefully, offering encouragement as well as her expertise as an English teacher. Combined with her quick wit and vibrant, upbeat presence, it’s no wonder that workshop participants flock to her, share with her, and are inspired by “Highlights’ own” Kay Yoder!
Enjoy these photos from the dinner announcing the new Kay Yoder scholarship:
Click on a picture to enlarge it.