Starbucks donation aids literacy

Staff and members of the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada are excited about a new literacy program funded by the Starbucks Foundation.

The foundation gave a $9,230 grant to the club's Mentor Center to help start a program called the STARBooks Club.

"It's going to give the members so many opportunities," said Lisa Taylor, resource development director at the club. "It's given these children something they really look forward to each month."

Students will read once a month with their mentors at the local Starbucks store, 3228 N. Carson St. near the old Kmart. They will read a chapter each month and discuss it. At the end of the book, they'll add to it -either by writing a prelude or epilogue. The finished stories will then be published. Part of the grant money will be used to bind the books.

Students will also become pen pals with kids in a similar program in Germany.

"So those (German) children and the children here in Carson are going to be writing to each other - sending photos of Lake Tahoe, etc.," said Taylor.

The STARBooks program is one-of-kind, Taylor said.

"We created it. The foundation offers grants, so working with the local Starbucks we figured out exactly what we needed and then applied for the grant."

Representatives from the local store were manager Amber Langworthy and her partner, Cathy Loomis. Other employees have also offered to volunteer with the club.

The Starbucks Foundation was founded in 1997. It has given more than $8 million to about 760 literacy and youth programs.

The foundation is a separate entity from Starbucks Coffee, although most of the funding does come from the company.

There are about 45 children aged 7 to 16 served by the Mentor Center. Ten are entering their third year paired with a mentor. More than 20 children are on a waiting list for mentors.

For more about becoming a mentor, visit the main office in room 309 of the Cedar Building at Western Nevada Community College or call 445-3346.


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