Mission Statement

1) To Inspire students to enjoy reading and help develop a lifelong love of books.
2) To Encourage students to read more.
3) To Create a safe and enjoyable environment to explore a new book and engage with peers to discuss themes and ideas.

3) To Foster creativity with hands-on, open-ended art, games and activities related to the books.
4)  To Strengthen a student's vocabulary through reading.
5) To Relate themes from the book to core values and to students' own lives in a meaningful way.

6) To Forge relationships among students as “readers” who can continue to discuss and share thoughts and ideas about books beyond book club.

7) To Nurture an enthusiasm for reading within a student’s family environment.


My name is Melissa Tarun, and I have worked with students since 2000 in
various capacities. I have served as a Girl Scout Leader of 3 different troops
at the elementary and middle school levels; over 14 years, I have been a Scout
Leader to over 40 different girls in Austin and San Antonio, Texas.  Since 2007
have served as Adult Learning Coordinator for leaders at the Girl Scout Service
Unit level, made up of all schools, public and private, in my geographic area.  

I have taught adults in a classroom setting since 1998 in Austin and San Antonio
for retail businesses and community education programs, including Michaels
Stores, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, Hobby Lobby, Garden Ridge Pottery,
the University of Texas at Austin and the Barshop Jewish Community Center.
I have also taught children’s ‘fun’ classes since 2007 and academic enrichment
classes and summer campssince 2011 for Girl Scouts of SW Texas Troops
and Northside Independent School District Adult and Community Education.  

I have worked as a substitute pre-school teacher for NAEYC-accredited early
childhood program since 2011.  I have been a Room Parent continuously since
2005 and served on the parent board of my children's pre-school. I have been a
regular volunteer at the Beard Library for 7 years, working  1-3 afternoons per
week, occasionally filling in for the Librarian when she is off campus.  I have
enjoyed a lifelong love of reading and an enthusiasm for growing new readers!

I own a small business, Sweetest Whimsy, that specializes in custom cakes and
personalized papers and gifts, since 1998, with an online retail site since 2007.
I worked part-time in the standardized testing industry for ETS from 2003-2009 as
a Scoring Leader and Rater. 

I am First Aid and CPR trained and my certification is current.
My hobbies include reading (of course), paper-crafting and travel.