Summer Reading Unlocks Some Magic for Douglas County Schools and Local Nonprofit

For immediate release: October 26, 2022

A little extra cash materialized for four Douglas County schools and local nonprofit AllHealth Network this fall courtesy of Douglas County Libraries Foundation and DCL Summer Reading. Northridge Elementary School, Ben Franklin Academy, Mesa Middle School, and ThunderRidge High School each earned $500 for securing the most Summer Reading sign-ups per school level in DCL’s Summer Reading school contest. AllHealth Network was awarded $1,000 as the nonprofit recipient of the program’s community reading goal.

“We love that we are able to do this for our community, and it’s so fun seeing the kids get excited about reading,” said DCL Special Events Supervisor Kristen Kallio. “The schools all do such a wonderful job, and our summer readers have such a heart for our nonprofit partners.”

Summer Reading encourages reading from a young age and helps to keep kids reading during school breaks, so they grow up with a strong foundation in literacy. Readers of all ages are also encouraged to participate.

Ben Franklin Academy Librarian Deb Williams said the students there will have a say in what new books will be added to the library. “Our students take great pride and get extremely excited knowing that because of them, our library will receive more books,” she said.

Teacher Librarian Stephanie Sjoland at ThunderRidge High School said her school’s prize money will go toward either new books or new seating for the library. “I love that there are reading programs for teens and even adults now, and I had so much fun promoting this with our students last spring,” she said.

Each year, DCL encourages communitywide participation in Summer Reading through the program’s community reading challenge, which benefits a local nonprofit if the reading goal is met. This year, participants exceeded the goal of 8.5 million minutes of reading.

AllHealth Network is a compassionate provider of mental health and substance use treatment, offering a full array of clinical services at 11 locations throughout the South Denver metro area. According to AllHealth Network Clinical Officer Jen Bock, the nonprofit’s prize money will go toward therapists working on evidence-based training and consultation for youth and families.

“In addition to sending therapists through training, we will utilize the money to expand consultation offerings to include more therapists as we currently have a waiting list for this consultation time,” Bock said.

Summer Reading will return in June 2023, along with the school contest and community reading challenge.

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