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Good Deeds: Volunteer teaches about animals, habitat and environment

Margaret Nichols volunteers at the Sedgwick County Zoo. She is an education volunteer which means she sometimes reads stories to children and helps educate them about the different animals at the zoo. (Oct. 22, 2014)
Margaret Nichols volunteers at the Sedgwick County Zoo. She is an education volunteer which means she sometimes reads stories to children and helps educate them about the different animals at the zoo. (Oct. 22, 2014) The Wichita Eagle

After a career in radio and television, Margaret Nichols began looking at volunteering.

She’s been in the education department at the Sedgwick County Zoo since 2001.

“It gets me out of the house,” the 80-year-old Nichols said. “I don’t like to keep house. I’d rather do something else. And this gets me out around people.

“I have a wonderful family, but you also like to have interaction with other people. The zoo education department is my second family.”

With audiences from preschoolers to nursing home residents, Nichols assists with classes and activities to help promote awareness for habitat, environment and how people, animals and plants adapt to changing conditions.

“I’m the story lady for the zoo,” Nichols said.

The zoo’s outreach programs have taken her into libraries, private schools, public schools, club meetings, Boy Scout encampments and cancer survivor meetings.

“To me it is fun,” Nichols said. “I like to see kids’ faces light up.

“I like being in a whole room of children who are pretending to be giraffes and who are trying to reach the water puddle by their feet. I’m helping them appreciate the animals of the world.”

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

Know a volunteer?

Good Deeds is a feature recognizing volunteers for their service to the community. Do you know someone doing Good Deeds? E-mail us at volunteers@wichitaeagle.com.

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