With her sparkling eyes and heavy Irish accent, Iris Griffiths is the epitome of someone you would want reading to your kids on a hot summer morning. At the HYPE Freedom School in Houston’s Third Ward, Iris entertained children and a few lucky adults by reading and discussing Stella Luna, the story of a baby bat raised by a family of birds. Iris chose this book to read to students because like her, Stella had to leave her familiar surroundings and live with strangers whose lifestyle was vastly different from her own.
Iris moved from Ireland to Canada over 30 years ago with less than $20 in her pocket. Possessing pure determination to find a job within her first week in her new country, she walked from office building to office building seeking employment. With persistent effort, as well as irresistible charm, she was employed in four days. Iris's story of perseverance and fortitude is much like that of the little bat, Stella Luna, as Iris also had to find her own way and create her own destiny. Now living in Houston with her husband Bill, her love of reading and music continues to uplift her and others with whom she shares her gifts.
Iris ended her time with the children at HYPE Freedom School by singing her own rendition of “This Little Light of Mine,” a song befitting someone who is a point of light in our community. We happily shine our light on Iris as our volunteer spotlight for the month.