Fundraising twist in library reading program pays off for local nonprofit, schools

For immediate release: September 4, 2018

Douglas County Libraries (DCL) and the Douglas County Libraries Foundation were thrilled to present donations in August to three Douglas County schools and the Denver Dumb Friends League Buddy Center in Castle Rock. The donations were made possible by the Douglas County community’s overwhelming participation in a friendly fundraising competition among schools and a countywide reading challenge as part of the library’s Summer Reading Program: Escape to Neverland.

“We’re so excited to present these checks to our local schools and the Buddy Center,” said DCL Foundation Chair Tera Radloff. “Through DCL’s reading program, we challenged school kids and readers of all ages and they really stepped up to make a difference for these deserving organizations.”

The elementary, middle and high school with the most sign-ups for the library’s Summer Reading Program through July 31 were each awarded $250 toward their school’s 2018-2019 fundraising goals. The winning schools were Ben Franklin Academy in Highlands Ranch, Cimarron Middle School in Parker, and STEM School in Highlands Ranch.

“We’re so proud of our kids,” said Ben Franklin Academy Principal Diana Simpson. She was joined by a group of second-graders in the school library for the Foundation’s check presentation. “We’re especially proud of them for reading all summer,” added Simpson.

“We’re truly appreciative of our partnership with Douglas County Libraries and our local library here in Highlands Ranch,” said STEM School Director Leanne Weyman. “The library is fabulous, and it’s right down the street. Our students are able to walk there after school and utilize many of their resources,” she added.

Reading program participants of all ages were also challenged to meet a community goal of 7 million minutes of reading, which, if met, would benefit the Denver Dumb Friends League Buddy Center in Castle Rock through a $500 DCL Foundation donation. The community not only met that goal, but they exceeded it by 178,515 minutes.

Denver Dumb Friends League Buddy Center Director Matt Levien received the Foundation’s donation on behalf of the Buddy Center. “It was so cool and overwhelming to see how the community responded to what we do here at the Buddy Center,” said Levien. “We have a wonderful community that is so supportive, and we couldn’t do what we do without that support.”

“The school contest and community reading challenge were such fun ways to not only get everyone reading a little more than they might otherwise read during the summer, but to also get them invested in great causes, one that would directly benefit kids through their schools, the other that would benefit animals in need in our community,” said DCL’s Special Events Coordinator Kristen Kallio. “It was a win-win for everyone.”

The library’s annual Summer Reading Program encourages reading from a young age and keeps kids reading during school breaks, so they grow up with a strong foundation in literacy. Good Times and Garden of the Gods generously sponsored the program’s sign-up prizes this year.

Douglas County Libraries elevates our community by inspiring a love of reading, discovery and connection.