by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Soul of Photography

An Open Book

volunteer_preti2Reading is a passion for Mary Jo Preti, and she is happy to share her love for the written word with others. From 12 to 1 p.m. every Tuesday, Mary Jo can be found reading to children at the Encinitas Library. “This time is great for children who may not do well at storytime with a large group of children. It’s also wonderful for any child that wants more individualized attention while being read to,” explained Mary Jo, who is proud that the Encinitas Library offers so many special programs and activities. According to Mary Jo, one of the signs of a great community is a robust library. She and her family also have a miniature library consisting of 150 books right outside of their home – neighborhood readers are welcome to borrow a book for free anytime!

Mary Jo was inspired to volunteer her time at the Encinitas Library when her son, Evan, was young. “When Evan was little, he developed a friendship with a ‘reading grandma’ at the library. He went to see her every week. Since our family’s grandmas live 2,000 miles away, it was great for Evan to be able to have a close friendship with his ‘reading grandma.’ He still sees Grandma Betsy when he is visiting home,” related Mary Jo of Evan, who is now an artist living in San Francisco. Mary Jo and her husband, John Moring, have been married for more than 30 years and have two more grown children in addition to Evan: Roseann, a reporter for the Omaha World-Herald and Shane, who recently moved back to Encinitas from the Omaha, NE area.

Name: Mary Jo Preti
Community: Encinitas
Profession: Exercise physiologist
Hobbies: Quilting, tennis

In addition to her volunteer endeavors at the Encinitas Library, Mary Jo is actively involved in the local YMCA. She is an exercise physiologist and teaches many classes for active older adults, including fall prevention classes. “I am one of the 15 master FallProof instructors in the world,” stated Mary Jo. In the past, she has also coached youth sports teams and set up physical education programs at a local elementary school.


Mary Jo and her family have lived in Encinitas for 25 years and thoroughly enjoy all the area has to offer. “We love our friendly neighbors, the great Mexican food, and bicycling on the beach,” Mary Jo shared. She and John also enjoy traveling. “John built a bed inside our 1999 Ford van, and we love staying in state and national parks and forests.”