On October 3rd, Reach Out and Read Colorado hosted its 15th Annual Benefit Breakfast at the Denver Botanical Gardens. This year’s theme – Mountains of Books – was an homage to both the natural beauty of our state and the aspirational goals we have to help every child in Colorado begin school ready to learn and succeed.
The wonderful morning began with guests networking and enjoying coffee donated by Kaladi Coffee followed by delicious burritos served by Catering by Design. Denise Vega, board member and children’s book author, warmly welcomed the crowd and acted as the MC for the event. Other speakers included Dr. Simon Hambidge, Dr. Sonja O’Leary and student Oscar Saenz. For the first time, a young speaker took the stage to discuss the role of early literacy in his life growing up in Denver’s Westwood neighborhood, and how it continues to shape him today as a student at the University of Denver – the first in his family to attend college. As well, the audience was regaled with the uproarious performance of Governor John Hickenlooper and Former First Lady Jeannie Ritter in a Seussical parody highlighting current events.
Thanks to sponsors and event supporters, the effort has raised enough to purchase more than 56,000 new, developmentally and culturally appropriate books for children under age 5.