My name is Benjamin Thompson. I am a student at Sierra Middle School and I am a member of Troop 90 in Parker, Colorado. For a couple weeks I had been looking for an Eagle Scout Project. I had reached out to local hospitals, food pantries and senior centers as I wanted my project to have an impact on people in my community in which I live in. I wasn’t finding anything that felt right and I started to get a little discouraged. One evening my mom was on the internet and she found the Reach Out and Read Colorado website. Knowing my passion and love of reading she encouraged me to research this organization.
I was immediately drawn to the longevity and impact the Reach Out and Read Colorado organization has made over the last 30 years. I was also impressed to learn about the importance of parents reading to their children the first 5 years of their life. This caused me to think about why I loved reading so much. I feel that my love of reading came from my 4th grade teacher. She gave our class a challenge to read 40 books from various genres during the school year. At first I felt this was impossible and something that I would never accomplish. But I decided to take her challenge. To my surprise I quickly found myself wanting to read every moment possible. I became a fast reader and found that I was selecting larger books that challenged my reading level. Not only did I complete the challenge extended by my teacher – but I crushed it by reading over 60 books that school year!
As I worked with Reach Out and Read Colorado, I found their team very helpful in providing many suggestions and resources in helping me collect donations for their organization. My original goal was to collect 500 books – I felt this was a good goal and one that would push me. My project started slow and in the first two weeks I had only collected about 14 books. I began to get worried and I realized that if I was going to make my goal – I would have to work hard in getting the word out about my project in partnering with Reach Out and Read Colorado. I had my local church organization help me pass out over 500 fliers, my parents posted my project on social media websites and I visited all my close neighbors. Over the next few weeks, I was overwhelmed by the Parker community rallying behind my project to collect books for Reach Out and Read Colorado.
When all was said and done, I was able to collect over 1,500 books! I cannot express my gratitude enough to those who supported my Eagle Scout Project. I know that by partnering with Reach Out and Read Colorado my Eagle Scout project will have an impact on my community and the children that will be provided the books donated.