0188_Local Kiwanis Club had a celebration and distributed money, books, and gift cards to children and schools

Donna Jack
March 6, 2017/updated March 15, 2017

Numerous studies confirm that if a child hasn’t learned to read well enough to enjoy reading by the end of third grade, there is a good chance that child will never learn to read well, or may never learn to read at all.  It was because they learned of these studies, that the Conifer Kiwanis Club decided fifteen years ago to come up with a way to help third grade children learn to love reading.

For 15 years, Conifer Kiwanis has stepped up to the plate
to help children enjoy reading
See  Dr. Joe Wheeler’s books at:

Dr. Joe Wheeler is a member of the Conifer Kiwanis, and a local author with 95 titles in publication.  He, along with other Kiwanis members and friends, have for the last 15 years, set up his books on tables at the Conifer King Soopers store each December.  Three Thursdays and Fridays during December his books have been put on display, to be looked at and purchased.  Dr. Wheeler always signs each book that is purchased.  Members of the Kiwanis Club, and supporters,  have set up, manned and taken down the tables, and helped people choose from among his many books, while Dr. Wheeler has signed his books and answered questions.

Dr. Wheeler generously contributes all profits from the sale of his books, to the Conifer Kiwanis Reading Program.

Come join us in December!

Come join us next December and buy books: for yourself, your family and friends — and at the same time help the reading program for the school children.  In order to expand this program, we need to have more people in the community purchasing books next December at King Soopers.  Until then, you can find enjoyable reading at Dr. Wheeler’s website:   www.joewheelerbooks.com

Kiwanis International’s Fifteenth Annual Reading Celebration Day – March 4, 2017
at The Barn, in Evergreen Memorial Park
on North Turkey Creek Road

The Key Club at Conifer High School is associated with Conifer Kiwanis.

Three members from the Conifer High School Key Club helped us set up the event; sold Dr. Wheeler’s books to people who wanted to purchase more of his books at the event; spoke to the assembly; and helped clean up afterwards.

2017-03-04 13.59.24_3 Key Club members from Conifer HighConifer High School – Key Club Members
Brenna Nease, Key Club President; Angie Truong, Key Club Vice President;
Audrey Dilgarde, Key Club International Trustee

Again this year, the Conifer Kiwanis Club held its Annual Reading Celebration, where the money collected from Dr. Wheeler’s book sales in December, was distributed to the schools, along with gift cards and recognition certificates that were distributed to individual students.

Each third grade student chose a book before they came to the event.  Dr. Wheeler donated every one of these books to the students.  At the event, the 3rd graders stood in line to sign in, and tell which book they chose.  Then they received a certificate, picked up their book, handed it to Dr. Wheeler, and watched him sign their book for them.

While Dr. Wheeler was signing books, there was food served downstairs, face painting going on in the balcony, and hay rides were taking place around the grounds.  All of this activity came to a close for the 2:00 program, when everyone gathered on the main floor of the barn.

Dr. Wheeler spoke to the students, teachers, principals, parents, siblings, and guests.

Joe Wheeler speaking at Reading Celebration
Dr. Joe Wheeler speaking at Reading Celebration

After he spoke, representatives from each school reported how they had spent the money they had received from Kiwanis — and how the money had helped children in their reading programs.

$1250 was presented to each school group.  The 3rd grade students received certificates of appreciation and gift certificates to Barnes and Nobel Book Stores.  There were lots of smiles, and much applause from those in the audience.

Special honors and gift cards were given to the best readers — and also to the best-improved readers in the schools that participated.

The teachers reported that the competition and chances to receive awards, helped the students work harder, and accomplish more.

One student was so proud to have improved 5 levels this year, that he was grinning from ear to ear.

Little girl with Dr. Wheeler IMG_4831Boy who advanced 5 levels with other children IMG_4857

We are expanding our help to teachers,
by giving them money to buy small incentives

The awards given at the Kiwanis Book Celebration event next March will again be based on the students’ reading performance and progress throughout the fall and winter.

Late this summer Conifer Kiwanas will be delivering money to the schools, to help teachers purchase small incentives.  Teachers believe these incentives will encourage the students get a jump-start in the fall, and help them continue reading all winter, and through the rest of the year.  The goal is to help students become better readers and happy readers.

At the very end of the event
there was a drawing for an entire 10-volume set of animal stories!

Each of the 10 volumes of Dr. Wheeler’s animal stories collection, contains about 18 stories centered around a different subject area: Dogs, Cats, Horses, Wild Animals, Animal Heroes, Small Animals, Animals of the North, Jungle Animals, Strange and Wonderful Animals, Great Animals.

At the end of the event Saturday, there was a drawing for a complete 10-volume set of Dr. Joe Wheeler’s collections of animal stories.  The set, worth $140, was given by Dr. Wheeler as a gift!  He individually signed each book in the set for the lucky third-grade girl whose name was drawn.  She was one happy young lady!

Over $100,000 has been given

Over the past 15 years, through their reading program, the Conifer Kiwanis Club has distributed over $100,000 to school libraries.

All in all, the entire event last weekend was a good time for everyone.

                                                         Schools that participated:

Deer Creek Elementary School                                     Rocky Mountain Academy of Evergreen
Elk Creek Elementary School                                        West Jefferson Elementary School
Marshdale Elementary School                                      Homeschooling Families
Parmalee Elementary School

Books the students could choose from:

Dick, the Babysitting Bear and Other Great Wild Animal Stories
Owney the Post Office Dog and Other Great Dog Stories
Smokey the Ugliest Cat in the World and Other Great Cat Stories
Wildfire, the Red Stallion and Other Great Horse Stories
Spot, the Dog that Broke the Rules and Other Great Heroic Animal Stories
Amelia, the Flying Squirrel and Other Stories of God’s Smallest Creatures
Togo, the Sled Dog and Other Great Animal Stories of the North
Tawny, the Magnificent Jaguar and Other Great Jungle Stories
Stinky, the Skunk That Wouldn’t Leave and Other Strange and Wonderful Animal Stories
Sooty, the Green-Eyed Kitten and Other Great Animal Stories
Showdown, and Other Sports Stories for Boys”
Bluegrass Girl, an Other Horse Stories for Girls
The Talleyman Ghost and Other Mystery Stories for Girls
The Secrets of Creeping Desert and Other Mystery Stories for Boys
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women
Louisa May Alcott’s Little Men

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