The Pitch Questionnaire with Pages & Chapters' Jenny Jackaway

Pages & Chapters' director shares her vision for Kansas City.



Name: Jenny Jackaway

Occupation: Executive director, Pages & Chapters

Tell us about your work with Pages & Chapters and Open Books: Pages & Chapters began in fall 2011 with home visits to urban families to provide support in the area of literacy. Summer 2012 added more programming at the Waldo Branch of the Kansas City Public Library, where we offered a summer reading workshop for families. We had five families participate and about 30 volunteers.

This fall, we are launching our school-year project called Open Books. This will be held on Wednesdays, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Waldo library, and at a yet-to-be-determined location in Englewood, in the Northland. At Open Books, parents and kids will work together in a family literacy workshop, with the support of literacy mentors, to practice reading and writing skills.

Hometown: I am originally from Terre Haute, Indiana, and I went to college and graduate school in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Current neighborhood: Downtown KC

Who or what is your sidekick? My iPad and my iPhone

What career would you choose in an alternate reality? A writer

What was the last local restaurant you patronized? La Bodega

Where do you drink? Westport

Favorite place to spend your paycheck: J. Crew or Standard Style

What local phenomenon do you think is overrated? Power & Light District

Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? Union Station and Westside Local

Finish this sentence: “Other than the Kauffman Center, Kansas City got it right when ... ” They said yes to Google Fiber.

“Kansas City screwed up when it ... ” Created a very segregated city starting in the early 1900s.

“Kansas City needs ... ” More movies and TV shows to be set here. It’s a cool city. Why can’t we have a CSI: Kansas City? Just sayin’.

“People might be surprised to know that I ... ” Like to be super-silly and goofy sometimes.

“On my day off, I like to ... ” Go to a movie by myself and stroll the Plaza. Hey, Rachel ate dinner by herself in Friends. I’m not ashamed.

“In five years, I’ll be ... ” Hopefully finishing my doctorate and watching Pages & Chapters continue to be successful and support literacy among urban families.

What TV show do you make sure you watch? Breaking Bad and Mad Men

____ take(s) up a lot of space in my iTunes: The Avett Brothers and Brett Dennen

What movie do you watch at least once a year? Sideways

What local tradition do you take part in every year? Corn mazes and St. Patty’s Day in Westport

Celebrity you’d like to ride the Mamba with at Worlds of Fun: Ryan Lochte

Favorite person or thing to follow on Twitter: Will Ferrell

Person or thing you find really irritating at this moment: My apartment is super-cold right now. I’m freezing, and I can’t turn the temp up.

What subscription — print, digital, etc. — do you value most? Women’s Health magazine

Last book you read: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Favorite day trip: Weston or any winery

Interesting brush with the law? I’m always getting parking tickets, and my car was towed at one point.

Describe a recent triumph: We raised over $700 from our book fair with Barnes & Noble in July! I am organizing and promoting our Run for Reading 5k, and this is my first time being a race director. So far, it’s going swimmingly well!

Open Books meets from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, starting September 12, at the Waldo Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. Show up or sign up by e-mailing

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