Plant A Book, Grow A Child Program

I am not sure if you heard, but there is apparently a pandemic happening. That makes it hard to have school, let alone a book fair. So we had to take drastic measures with our Plant a Book, Grow a Child program, with no book fair happening. It was just one of those “time to go big” kind of moments, with kids (not to mention teachers and parents) struggling in so many ways.

So we pulled out all of the stops, and committed to spending every penny we had, to put books into the hands of our local elementary school kiddos. There were roadblocks, fits, starts, changes, and lots of adapting along the way, but it was all worth it, as 1,297 books were distributed to 388 Estes Park Elementary School students in a smooth, socially distanced, drive-through process at the school, including the remote learning students.

Scholastic stepped up too—they took an additional 25% off our order, with the sales representative moved to tears at what we were trying to do for our local kiddos. But my favorite story from the whole thing was the girl who handed us 38 cents (a picture of her money now sits, framed on my desk at work)—her life savings, I am sure—to help make sure “we could get books for more kids next year, too.”

To her, and to all of the donors and supporters we have had over the five years of this program, our promise is the same—100% of your donation always goes to buy books. All expenses, including the 2% administrative fee the Estes Park Education Foundation has charged us to warehouse the funds we raise each year, have been paid out of our own pocket—not out of your donations. Every penny you have given to this program, has gone to buy books for local elementary school students—no exceptions.

With heartfelt thanks to our donors who made this possible—Bank of Estes Park, Estes Park Quota, Village Thrift, Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary, Ascent Title, and so many individuals—including one whose last-minute check (unknowingly) bridged the gap between what we had committed to and what we actually had funds for. And to Debbie Holmes, the boots on the ground at the school, there are simply no words to express how grateful we are—she made this program work this year, despite insurmountable challenges. And with gratitude to the Estes Park Education Foundation which held the funds we raised, thereby allowing them to be tax deductible for our donors. Thank you!

In five years, Plant a Book, Grow a Child has provided nearly 3,000 books to our local elementary school students. We have depleted our funds, and spent our reserve to make this year happen, and would appreciate your support. Please send donations to our new non-profit host—Estes Valley Sunrise Rotary Club Foundation, payable to:

“EVSRCF—Plant a Book”

PO Box 376

Estes Park, CO 80517

Thank you so much to all of those who have helped make this program possible.

Scott Applegate

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