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Reach Out and Read Colorado Volunteer Story: Cherie Courtade

I’ve been able to use my lunch hour to break from my daily work routine, support an organization that does great work, and be surrounded by books—how could I not love it? I estimate that I’ve counted and sorted thousands of donated books, discarding those that are damaged and weeding out books that are outdated, like 1950s-era science textbooks and parenting books. It’s been fun to see books from my childhood that are still in circulation, and I’ve been able to learn about new books that children are enjoying.

It’s been heartwarming to learn that some books like Nancy Drew Mysteries remain classics. And when I come across a book that I loved as a child, like The Phantom Tollbooth, I get excited knowing that another kiddo will have an opportunity to discover that book.

Cherie Courtade, Reach Out and Read Colorado Volunteer Book Sorter & Communications Director at Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

It’s been heartwarming to learn that some books like Nancy Drew Mysteries remain classics. And when I come across a book that I loved as a child, like The Phantom Tollbooth, I get excited knowing that another kiddo will have an opportunity to discover that book. Even though my task is simple—counting, examining, and boxing up books—I have a sense of purpose. It feels good to know that these books will end up on a shelf to entice a young person to pick one up and take it home. I understand the impact that access to books can have on a child. Maybe that gently used book will be the one that sparks a love of reading. I’m happy to have a small role in helping Reach Out and Read Colorado make that happen.

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