Now let’s meet: Miss Julie Wagner!
What was your favorite childhood toy?
How many years have you been with the Fun Van?
What did you do before working at the Fun Van?
I was a school librarian at Cortina Elementary School.
Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving tradition?
We get up early to watch the Thanksgiving parade while making our delicious Thanksgiving meal.
How did you hear about the Fun Van?
A teacher friend told me about the job. I decided to apply even though I didn’t know what to expect from a program named, “Fun Van.” I thought I was applying for a teaching job at the library. I had no idea that I would be driving a huge truck around Pinal County.
What do you enjoy most about working at Fun Van?
I love the sweet kids we get to work with every week.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Reading, of course! I also garden, watch movies, go hiking and relax on the beach. I am the proud grandmother of 3 grandsons and one on the way! We love painting rocks that we later hide when we visit the park together.
What advice do you have for parents?
Enjoy your time with your children. It goes by really fast, even though it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
What’s your funniest parenting moment?
My daughter and son were 4 and 7 at the time. My husband was working out of town and there was a horrible monsoon storm. The power went out, it was pouring rain, and the doors were open. The cat brought in a gopher from outside to show us. We all started screaming. We couldn’t figure out what to do. Our solution was to stand on the couch and scream until it stopped raining. Eventually I ended up getting a broom and shooing it out.
What’s one of your favorite books and activities for your Fun Van families?
Book: Big Frog Can’t Fit In by Mo Willems or I Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty
Activity: Fly Catching Frogs- Cut out 1 large oval and 2 leg shapes out of green paper. Cut out 2 white circles and 2 smaller black circles for eyes. Glue the black circles inside of the white circles and then glue the white circles to the top of the oval to make a frog face. Attach the legs on either side of the body and allow your child to decorate the frog. Once they finish decorating the frog, cut a slit in the middle of the frog to create space for a party blower. Insert the party blower to make a tongue.
Check out one of our classes making the project here!
Do you have any last words for our readers?
My advice is to take advantage of all of the resources available to families through the library and First Things First. I wish these resources were available when I was raising my children. My other piece of advice is to visit the library and take part in the programs they offer. Libraries continue to evolve and blossom. Some libraries even have castles or trains.