Skip Navigation LinksCherry Creek School District > District News > Grant money gives Sunrise Elementary kindergarteners free books for a year
Print this page

Grant money gives Sunrise Elementary kindergarteners free books for a year

sunrisethumb1.jpgThe news was good enough to make one kindergartener take off her glasses and wipe away tears.

Along with dozens of her peers at Sunrise Elementary School in Aurora, the student had just learned she would receive a steady stream of gifts throughout the school year. Thanks to a combined grant of $4,000, the entire Sunrise kindergarten population of 100 students would be getting two free books every month. Each student would get to choose from a wide selection of titles during a special ceremony held in the library every month.

For man of the students at Sunrise, those free books were more important than any shiny new iPad or fancy electronic device could have been.

“Fifty percent of our kids get free and reduced lunch. Some of these kids don’t have any books at home,” said Susie Isaac, a teacher/librarian at Sunrise. “They go from zero books to having eighteen of their own that they’ve chosen by the end of the school year.”

That’s part of the reason the school’s Read Aloud Daily (RAD) program has become so critical since its implementation three years ago. The funding for the initiative comes through an Early Literacy Grant from Target worth $2,000, as well as a matching grant from a private donor for the same amount. That total of $4,000 goes toward purchasing 18 books for every kindergartener at the school.
But the Sunrise R.A.D. program also goes beyond the boundaries of the school itself. As part of the initiative, students take home a monthly calendar with designated reading times for parents and kids. If a parent reads aloud to their child five times in a single week, they’re eligible for a wide range of rewards, including passes to recreation centers, gift cards to restaurants and other prizes. Last year, local businesses donated about $3,500 worth of gifts.

“In many communities, it’s par for the course that you read to your kids every night. That’s not necessarily the way our families work,” Isaac explained, adding that many parents work jobs with nontraditional hours. “We’re just trying to instill that routine.”

Creating that kind of culture takes one essential component: books. Thanks to the combination of grants and gifts, Sunrise students will have plenty of those in the next nine months.

“It’s like a $7,500 program that we don’t have to pay for at all,” Isaac said. “It’s all through grants and donations.”

The value of that money goes beyond a single school year. That much was clear during the second week of the school year at Sunrise, when groups of kindergarteners lined up at different times in the library. They selected between books about penguins and princesses, meerkats and Mac trucks. As the students lined up and waited for their teacher to inscribe their names in their new books, they seemed impatient. They couldn’t wait to find a good nook and get reading.

That kind of enthusiasm is the whole point of the grant, one that’s bound to last longer than a single school year.

-- Posted Sept. 2, 2014

Posted 9/2/2014 3:46 PM

​“Fifty percent of our kids get free and reduced lunch. Some of these kids don’t have any books at home ... They go from zero books to having eighteen of their own that they’ve chosen by the end of the school year.”

-- Sunrise Elementary School teacher/librarian Susie Isaac

Copyright © Cherry Creek School District #5, 4700 S. Yosemite Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111 | 303-773-1184
Cherry Creek School District No. 5 does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in admission to its programs, services or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations. The lack of English language skills shall not be a barrier to admission or participation in the district’s activities and programs. The Cherry Creek School District No. 5 also does not discriminate in its hiring or employment practices. This notice is provided as required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Questions, complaints, or requests for additional information regarding these laws may be forwarded to the designated compliance officer: District Compliance Officer or directly to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Region VIII, Federal Office Building 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite #310, Denver, CO 80204.

You are now leaving the Cherry Creek School District (CCSD) portal. Please note that CCSD does not control nor can it guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, completeness, or appropriateness of any content contained on web sites and/or pages outside of the official CCSD portal. The information or opinions contained on these web sites and/or pages do not necessarily represent the views of the CCSD.

With access to the internet comes the availability of material that may not be of educational value or appropriate for students. While at school, CCSD has taken precautions to restrict access to inappropriate or harmful web sites. However, on the internet it is impossible to control all materials and limit all access to information that has no educational value. CCSD firmly believes that the valuable information and the interaction available on the internet far outweigh the possibility that users may procure material that is not consistent with the educational goals of CCSD.