Young students across Collier County were surprised recently when they were summoned to their school library just before their winter break.
Children at one of the schools – Golden Terrace Elementary – entered to see other kids had been gathered too. Whispers and excitement quickly filled the air. Then their media specialist, Tiffany “TJ” Weeks, announced each student had been chosen to receive a special award – a Holiday Book Award from K is for Kids Foundation.
Click here to see the video of the kids unwrapping their gifts:
Ms. Weeks went on to explain that she and their teacher had chosen the students because of their passion for reading and reading achievements.
Most of the books donated for the awards were from the shoppers and staff supporting Barnes & Noble’s Holiday Book Drive benefiting K is for Kids. Students of K is for Kids Club-Gulf Coast High School, led by their teacher representative, Audrey Gebber, also collected new/like new books with a Family & Friends Book Drive, too.
Thanks to their concerted efforts, K is for Kids was able to give Holiday Book Awards to children in 16 schools and nonprofits this year . “We nearly tripled the number of book awards we gave this year compared to last,” said Karen Clawson, executive director of K is for Kids. Since Karen created K is for Kids more than a decade ago with her children, Erin Clawson and Patrick Clawson, Jr. she said the talents of the foundation’s young leaders never cease to amaze her. “Our student leaders have always had high aspirations, they really want to help children be as successful as they are, and the teens volunteer many hours to reach their goals. It’s such a pleasure to have such talented young leaders at the helm of this foundation.
This year, the executive team at K is for Kids Club-Gulf Coast High School, led by club outgoing president Jose Chang and incoming president Aditii Makwana, were particularly critical to our success this fun’raising season. Our youth leadership program began at Gulf Coast High six years ago, and each year these teens continued to show their prowess in business management and communication skills, especially remarkable when you consider how young they are.”