by LYDIA COBB| photos by Zeena Gregg Photography

More Than Words

At an early age, Andrea MacDonald’s mother introduced her to the library. A love of reading was instilled and she graduated from University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in speech and hearing. She and her husband have lived in 92130 for 18 years, raising their children. Twins Jamie and Ian are sophomores at UCLA, and Sydney is a junior at Torrey Pines High School. Andrea shares the importance of literacy with her kids and beyond. “Being literate is more than just reading,” shared Andrea. “It is necessary to survive and prosper in our ever-evolving world.”

faces_macdonald3Andrea is in two book clubs, and in one was introduced to Words Alive, a literacy organization founded in 1999. Words Alive serves more than 5,000 students monthly – preschoolers to elementary students, family literacy programs, and youth in juvenile court schools. As Andrea’s tenure on the board for Solana Beach Foundation for Learning was winding down, she turned the page to help with Words Alive and now serves on its board of directors. Because of her expertise planning former galas for Solana Highlands Elementary School, she’s at work on Words Alive’s annual gala, The Author’s Luncheon (Oct. 19), which this year will be hosting best-selling author Jodi Picoult.

Her first time observing a book group with Words Alive volunteers was in a juvenile court school for at-risk teens. “These kids were saying that they had never read an entire book,” revealed Andrea, “and that they had no memories of being read to as a young child.” Andrea was hooked on her mission from then on.

Andrea has always been a community leader. She was a Girl Scouts leader for nine years, and for the last decade the MacDonalds have participated in the Miracle League, which supports baseball for special-needs youth. During the season, Andrea spends every Saturday as an umpire. Together with her daughter Sydney, Andrea works with the National Charity League. She and Sydney are also launching their own nonprofit for special-needs teens to enjoy the healing benefits of dance after school. “We hope to place an impact with people in the same way that Words Alive has been able to affect the children they advocate for,” added Andrea, a champion for change in the health and literacy of our community.

Name: Andrea Recht MacDonald
Profession: Volunteer
Community: Carmel Valley
Hobbies & Interests: Reading, yoga, walking
Favorite Spots in 92130: Neighborhood canyons