Photo credit: Stephen Sherman
Lisa Tedeschi Vergara
Lisa was raised in Needham, Massachusetts. After graduating from Needham High School, Lisa attended The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where she graduated with a BFA in Graphic Design in 1983. She began her career at Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, as Creative Art Director, winning numerous awards for her design work. It was early on in her career where she gained invaluable experiences and knowledge that the most powerful weapon for changing the world is education.
From teaching kindergarten art at Saint Joseph’s Elementary School in Needham, to specializing in administrative support roles at Needham Public Schools and Needham Park & Recreation, Lisa has spent most of her career giving back to the community in every way. During her time at the Needham Library, Lisa served on the Board for The Library Foundation of Needham as well as the Board for The Friends of the Needham Public Library, assisting with year-round project initiatives.
After spending time working at Wellesley Community Children’s Center, Lisa’s love for the visual arts and enthusiasm for children's books inspired her to repurpose old children’s furniture creating decoupage works of art. Her book inspired project took off and quickly spiraled into a passion to promote literacy and spread the joy of reading.
After two years of contemplation and having the goal of launching a charitable nonprofit organization, Storytime Crafts, Inc. was founded in May of 2019. With great support from her family, friends, and colleagues the organization became a registered 501(c)(3). Lisa founded the nonprofit with the goal of uniting communities to promote inclusive childhood literacy opportunities for all.
Since 2019, Storytime Crafts has been actively working to bring communities closer to their shared vision for social equity, diversity, and growth through meaningful, action-oriented community engagement programs. With a focus on youth development programs, Storytime Crafts aims to provide intentional and productive opportunities for youth to experience the positive power of teamwork and diversity.
In January of 2022, Lisa received the Patrick and Patricia Forde Good Person Memorial Award. This award recognizes an adult in the community who has helped make Needham a better place to live through his/her volunteer work and commitment. Lisa was presented with a citation award from The Commonwealth of Massachusetts/House of Representatives delivered by State Representative Denise Garlick.
Lisa is described as “a literal connection to all things literary in Greater Boston”. Today, Lisa’s purpose and passion lies in her commitment to promoting literacy through art, community and kindness.
"Storytime Crafts founder Lisa Vergara of Needham, MA, is an impactful nonprofit leader. Storytime Crafts has a clear mission and purpose of creating diverse book-rich environments for children. Ms. Vergara has assembled talented and skilled volunteers dedicated to supporting the organization’s grassroots literacy initiative.
The ratio of program expenses to total expenses is such that a donor can rest assured that their donation will go as far as possible. Ms. Vergara has displayed an ability to inspire and engage volunteers and constituents/members as passionate partners and spokespersons. Further, Ms. Vergara has shown a willingness to partner with other nonprofits working to address the same issues, regarding those organizations as allies as opposed to competitors.
Accordingly, I am pleased to be a partner with Storytime Crafts."
Ty Allan Jackson
Chief Literacy Advisor
Award-winning children’s book author, literacy advocate, and captivating motivational speaker
In 2011 Ty founded Big Head Books, LLC, a literacy organization that aims to introduce children to the joys of reading. Ty travels around the country inspiring children and educating adults about the impacts of illiteracy. A three-time TedX presenter, Ty believes that literacy is the foundation for a successful life and promotes it with humor and enthusiasm. Ty’s work as an author and literacy advocate earned him the Massachusetts inaugural Martin Luther King Jr. Content of Character Award, as well as citations from the Massachusetts Governor, Senator, and the House of Representatives.
Ty’s books have been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Steve Harvey Show, PBS and countless other media outlets. In 2012, Ty’s books were gifted to former First Lady Michelle Obama by his hometown mayor. He is the co-founder of the Read or Else movement and Danny Dollar Academy.
"I can say with great sincerity that there are fewer people who care and make the effort to better their community than Lisa Vergara. With a level of dedication and commitment aligned with a remarkable work ethic, Ms. Vergara lives to serve. From supplying toiletries to families who are less fortunate, to gifting hundreds of bikes to children who can’t afford them, to giving away tens of thousands of books to kids in need, Lisa and Storytime Crafts, has changed the lives of countless children and families. Her level of goodwill makes her a superhero in a time when it is needed the most. She is worthy of all the praise, accolades and support given to her."
Community Connector Advisor
Association Director for Community Hub Schools, YMCA of Greater Boston
"Lisa and her organization, Storytime Crafts, has been an incredible asset to the King K-8 School since beginning her work with us in the Spring of 2018. Lisa has provided thousands of books to our students and two incredible art chairs that we are proud to make use of in our library.
Lisa's passion for literacy is contagious and students often walk out of one of her events asking for extra books to take home and making special requests for her next visit. The Grove Hall Community has been historically underserved and under-resourced and Lisa's partnership has made it possible to bring books into the lives of all of our students in a way that we would not be able to without her help. Her reach has gone beyond the King as she continues to collaborate with other schools and community centers in our neighborhood. "
Volunteer Outreach & Community Engagement Manager
Dana Moochnick (Needham High School, '24) joined Storytime Crafts’ as the Volunteer Outreach & Community Engagement Manager. Dana first joined Storytime Crafts’ Volunteer Ambassador team to be able to spread positivity and kindness in the community. Dana started helping Storytime Crafts by assisting with projects such as book sorting, assembling baby kits, and organizing volunteer data.
In a volunteer capacity, Dana will support Founder/President Lisa Vergara with volunteer outreach, community engagement and data organization. Throughout her high school career, Dana has gained a vast knowledge in technology with a passion for STEM. Dana loves being a part of school clubs such as Mock Trial, Science Team, and Interact Club. Outside of school, Dana enjoys spending time with her friends, watching movies, and playing field hockey in her spare time.
Community Literacy Advisor