Friday, November 25, 2011

KRS Enjoys Busy Fall 2011 Season

Authors Kim Greene and Daphne Nowell with their books for KRS' September Author Day
KRS has enjoyed a busy autumn season! At its September Saturday reading program, KRS hosted its very first Author Day in celebration of National Literacy Month.  Local children’s books authors Kim Greene, Kelley and Jonathan Max, Meher McArthur, Daphne Nowell, James Otis, and Sam Renick read portions of their books to the kids and shared more about their craft.  The kids were particularly excited about this program as they had become writers themselves at KRS’ August Saturday reading program and created storybooks to take home.  Not only did the authors field many insightful and interesting questions from the kids, but they also generously donated autographed books to KRS’ on-site libraries and to the kids to bring home.  

Officer Deon Joseph with the KRS kids of the Union Rescue Mission site in October
In October, KRS hosted a Saturday reading program with a “Public Safety & Awareness” theme; KRS students read about Halloween safety tips; and local law enforcement officers visited each of KRS’ three locations (STARS, Villa-Parke and Union Rescue Mission) to speak to the students about their profession, the importance of literacy in law enforcement, and re-inforced the general safety tips the kids read about. 
KRS boardmembers at our annual fundraiser in October!

On October 27, 2011, KRS hosted its annual fundraiser at El Portal in Pasadena. KRS raised significant funds, thanks to El Portal restaurant, which donated a portion of its proceeds that evening to KRS, and the support of the local community and KRS volunteers who attended the fundraiser and bid on silent auction items (like a weekend ski trip to Mammoth) and purchased raffle tickets.  In addition, at the annual fundraiser, KRS was recognized by Congressman Adam Schiff (who represents California’s 29th Congressional District) for its contribution to the Pasadena community.   Representatives from Congressman Schiff’s office presented KRS with a congressional proclamation of achievement.  “We are so humbled to receive this recognition on behalf of the volunteers of KRS.  It is because of their dedication, enthusiasm and support that we are able to run this free Saturday reading program each month and reach out to more underserved youth through literacy,”  said Deborah Yao, KRS’ executive director. 

KRS boardmembers Jacqueline Goodman & Deborah Yao with Teresa Lamb, District Representative for Congressman Adam Schiff
In November, KRS hosted a Saturday reading program with a “Health and Nutrition” theme. After the regular reading hour, KRS students read tips on how to read a nutrition label and some common “chef lingo” (like the definitions for “chop”, “dice”, “boil” and “broil”). Tamar Kozanian and Jennifer Schlesinger of Cooking Matters, an organization that provides families at risk of hunger with the skills, knowledge and confidence to make healthy and affordable meals, visited KRS at STARS and Villa-Parke and taught the KRS students how to make healthy yogurt parfaits. Dietitian Joyce Nakashima visited KRS at the Union Rescue Mission location and taught the KRS students about the benefits of healthy eating habits and also showed the kids how to make yogurt parfaits.  Most of the kids had never had a parfait before so this was a particular treat.  Many thanks to Tamar, Jennifer and Joyce for donating their time to KRS! After a fun and busy few months, KRS is looking forward to the upcoming holiday season and to 2012! 
KRS kids with dietitian Joyce Nakashima, one of our November guest speakers on Healthy Eating!

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