Top Reader Book Awards: Students at Golden Gate Elementary Lead Lineup of Reading Leaders

Golden Gate Elementary School students were the first in Collier County to receive K is for Kids’ Top Reader Book Awards, leading a lineup of close to 1,300 young honorees this year.

Seven schools are able to afford transportation this year to send their students on the field trip to Waterside Shops in Naples, so students may shop for their books at Barnes & Noble and enjoy a complimentary lunch at California Pizza Kitchen.

Facebook Post - Top Reader Book Awards 2016 - 1300 students in 26 schools

“The Top Reader Book Awards have expanded beyond the classroom. Now, in addition to the awards given, students are able to take a field trip to Barnes & Noble [at the Waterside Shops in Naples] to personally pick their books and enjoy a complimentary lunch at California Pizza Kitchen,” said Nedgie Paul, K is for Kids’ senior student spokesperson who graduated from Palmetto Ridge High and has just finished her freshman year at Florida State University.

“K is for Kids launched its first Book Awards in the spring of 2012 and ever since then it has been a fan favorite,” she said. “The awards serve as a celebration of the reading achievements of these young students. Principals, parents and educational staff all over the county love the book awards and its mission to promote literacy among youth and encourage young readers.”

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Golden Gate Elementary School students were the first to earn and receive K is for Kids Top Reader Book Awards. The young honorees got to go on a special field trip to Waterside Shops in Naples to shop for their books at Barnes & Noble. Shown in front row, l-r: Karen Clawson, K is for Kids Founder and E.D., Maria Cano, Noelle Gonzalez, Rodrigo Velasco, Arely Osorio, Vasthi Joseph, Yocelin Rebelledo, and Jessica Olson, Barnes & Noble Business Community Relations Manager. Back row: Kelsey Nunez, Mario Jolicouer, Kelly Knapke, Isaac Perez, Kaci Daudert, and Kelly Guerrero.

“This program introduces some of the students to new experiences and further facilitates the mission and purpose of the foundation,” she added.

“Thanks to a generous grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation, our teen driven nonprofit has been able to place thousands of books into the hands of children who need them most,” said Karen Clawson, founder and (volunteer) executive director of the foundation. “It’s such an exciting event for the students and fun for those who get to witness their joy of receiving these awards!”

foundation logo template 2 pdf

She adds, “It’s almost funny when we’re at CPK to see all these kids being so quiet — as soon as they’re seated, they’re pulling out their books, sharing and reading; we have to ask them to put the books away! Often patrons and staff at the restaurant show surprise at seeing all the kids reading books – many thought kids don’t like to read books.  In fact, the opposite is true. Kids need more books to read!”


Special thanks also goes to these community sponsors:



The Clawson Family


Golden Gate Elementary School – May 2nd!

Congratulations to Golden Gate Elementary students for being the first honorees to receive their book awards during a special field trip to the Waterside Shops.

Students leaving Barnes & Noble with their bags of books!

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Next stop: California Pizza Kitchen!

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GGES young honorees at CPK. Shown left side, front to back: Vasthi, Kelly, Kelsey, Arely, and Mario. Right side: Mario, Isaac, Rodrigo, Boelle, and Yocelin.

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Loaded with books from Barnes & Noble, GGES students snap a photo before leaving CPK. Shown in front row , l-r: Yocelin Rebelledo, Rodrigo Velasco, and Arely Osorio. Back row – Kelly Knapke, Media Specialist; Maria Cano, Kelly Guerrero, Vasthi Joseph, Isaac Perez, Mario Jolicoeur, Kelsey Nunez, and and Karen Clawson, K is for Kids Founder and E.D. Far back is Steven Yontess, CPK Manager.



Golden Terrace Elementary Intermediate – May 5th!

GTES has been K is for Kids’ focus school for the Rising Readers program and EOY Top (Rising) Reader Book Awards for five years and its students were the first to go on the special field trip recognizing their reading achievements in 2013. Being the fourth time that Media Specialists Tiffany (“TJ”) Weeks has taken the students to Waterside Shops, she now snaps photos like a pro.

Thank you Dolphin Transportation!!

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First stop: California Pizza Kitchen!

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Students Choose Get to Tour the Kitchen!

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Click here to see how cold the freezer is! 12 CPK Freezer 2 girls Brrrr

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And choose the toppings for their Pizzas!

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Christelle, Tyra, Randey and Uriel at the pizza station.

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CPK’s pizzas taste even better when you win them!

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K is for Kids Top Reader Book Awards: Golden Terrace Elementary Intermediate students enjoy a special field trip to the Waterside Shops in Naples to celebrate their reading achievements. Here the young honorees pause for a photo at California Pizza Kitchen. Shown in front row, l-r: Front row – Karen Clawson, K is for Kids Founder and E.D.; Christelle, Brenda, Stacey, Angeleana, Maria, Kenneth, Uriel, and Bryan. Back row – David DeCarle, CPK Gen. Mgr; Tiffany “TJ” Weeks, Media Specialist; Tyra, Samantha, Randey, and Melvin Williams, Mgr.

We <3 CPK!

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A stroll through the the beautiful Waterside Shops to go to

Barnes & Noble Booksellers…

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and shop for books!

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Click here for more photos of GTES Toucans at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at the Waterside Shops:

Everglades City School – May 9th!

This marked the first time that middle and high school students got to attend the book awards at the Waterside Shops in Naples! The drive was two-and-a-half hours round trip, but Media Specialist Melissa Owens said the drive back was particularly happy as students dove into their books.

We’ve arrived at Barnes & Noble!

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EVG BN sitting in circle with Ms. Jessica

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Everglades City School’s Top Readers of all ages show the books they selected during their commemorative field trip honoring their reading achievements. [K is for Kids was thrilled to have teens included this year!] Front Row:  M. O’Connell (EVG Teacher Assistant), Miranda O., Nora P., Dalton L. and  Jessica C. Middle row:  Karen Clawson, K is for Kids founder and E.D.; Melissa Owen, Media Specialist), Daneli C., Amelia P., Reyvan C., Taylor D., Stephani P., Faith B., Tori W. and Jessica Olsen, Barnes & Noble Business Communiy Relations Manager; Top row:  Daniel G., Savannah H., Claybrook S., Brandy B., Levi J., and NaNa M.

Thank you Jessica for the tour and helping us find our favorite books!


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Thank you CPK!

Okay kids, you can make funny faces!

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Everglades City’s First Grader Class Celebrated Their Reading Achievements at School!

EVG First Graders with books from K is for Kids Rising Readers program 2016

Link here to read more about Everglades City’s literacy program and testimonial thanking K is for Kids and its sponsors for helping to spread the wealth of reading with their students

Estates Elementary School – May 11th!

We love books!

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Off to lunch at CPK!

4 EE CPK Kids at table 2 EE at CPK Group Karen Clawson and Mgr Rich Hallas at rightThank you CPK!!

Avalon Elementary – May 13th!

Students receiving Barnes & Noble bookmarks. 

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Excitement was high as the young honorees showed off the books they had chosen!

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Waiting for lunch is okay at CPK, the children’s menus have lots of things for kids to do!

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Manager Rich Hallas gives each honoree a complimentary kids meal card for their next visit!
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A first for many students, shopping for books at Barnes & Noble and enjoying a lunch at CPK is a first – and a memory they will always relish!

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Congratulations to all the students who have earned book awards this year!

Come take a peek soon to see more happy honorees who have earned Top Reader Book Awards!

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