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.”
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