Aspen teen’s service project a push to get kids reading | AspenTimes.com

Aspen teen’s service project a push to get kids reading

Rachel Poole
Special to The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN – Teens are so plugged into computers and technology these days that it’s rare to hear about them reading books. But Aspen High School senior Casey Altman did more than just read over her summer vacation – she generated a service project designed to inspire elementary school students to learn to love to read.

The project, Literacy and Love, began last winter when Altman found stacks of children’s books stashed around the house. Perhaps they reminded her of her childhood, or perhaps her involvement in several service clubs at Aspen High spurred her idea to collect like-new books and stuffed animals for kids.

The goal was to provide grade school children with a gift when they came back to school in August that encouraged them to read.

After collecting books all summer, Altman sifted through the stacks and cleaned up the books that were in good condition and added her own Literacy and Love sticker to each book. Stuffed animals were washed and a Literacy and Love ribbon was tied around

“My initial goal was to collect 1,500 books and 500 stuffed animals, but I received almost double that. Each child was able to receive three books and one stuffed animal,” Altman said.

Altman received so many books she was able to extend the project to Basalt Elementary School and Glenwood Valley View Hospital. In total, she collected an estimated 2,500 books for 1,000 students.

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The service project has generated positive feedback from parents, teachers, librarians, and Kathy Klug, the college counselor at Aspen High.

“She is a self-motivated young lady who came up with an original service project,” said Klug. “And that deserves recognition.”