in the news

July 12, 2016 – Omaha NPR website

United Way of the Midlands has received a $10,000 grant from Kum & Go Stores to support Book Trust.

All the money will be invested into helping kids improve their reading skills.

February 26, 2016 – The Denver Post

Congratulations to Book Trust!

Congratulations to Book Trust for their great work promoting literacy to the youth in our community.

We were proud to recognize their $5,000 grant on February 1, 2016 at The Denver Post Pen & Podium Lecture Series featuring bestselling author, Meg Wolitzer.

December 17, 2015 – The Coloradoan

Bohemian Foundation announces Pharos Fund Recipients

The Bohemian Foundation on Thursday announced it has awarded $500,500 to 33 local nonprofits through its Pharos Fund. The fund was started in 2001 by Fort Collins philanthropist Pat Stryker, and has since granted more than $15 million to area nonprofits. The grants announced Thursday are part of more than $1 million awarded through the fund in 2015. Recipients are selected by a committee comprised of Bohemian Foundation board members, Bohemian staff and community members. The fund makes individual awards of up to $30,000 with awards announced each winter and spring.

“Our selection committee looks to understand the impacts local organizations are making,” said Sara Maranowicz, Bohemian Foundation’s Community Programs director. “We learn more about our community through each Pharos Fund application process, and we appreciate how the applicants are helping our community thrive. We are committed to supporting local nonprofits who demonstrate their progress on important community issues.”

The Bohemian Foundation will begin accepting applications for the next Pharos Fund round starting Jan. 5. To review the updated Pharos Fund guidelines, visit

Pharos Fund Award Winners:

Here is a list of nonprofits receiving awards, related projects and the amount awarded:

  • Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County (Raising Awareness of Person Power): $15,000
  • Book Trust (general support): $30,000
  • Cache la Poudre Middle School (Extended Time Program): $15,000
  • CASA of Larimer County (Court Appointed Special Advocates): $25,000
  • CSU Center for Public Deliberation (general support): $20,000
  • Children’s Speech and Reading Center (general support): $7,500
  • Colorado Health Network (Northern Colorado AIDS Project): $5,000
  • Crossroads Safehouse (youth program): $30,000
  • CSU Department of Human Development and Family Studies (Campus Corps): $10,000
  • Poudre School District Department of Student Services (PeaceJam in PSD high schools): $3,000
  • Faith Family Hospitality of Fort Collins (general support): $10,000
  • Food Bank for Larimer County (Food Share): $30,000
  • Fort Collins Museum of Discovery (general support): $25,000
  • Friends of Happy Heart Farm (general support): $3,000
  • Friends of the Gardens on Spring Creek (Plant it Forward): $5,000
  • HalfMoon Arts (Youth Arts Apprenticeship Program): $7,000
  • Healing Warriors Program (general support): $5,000
  • Homeless Gear (One Village One Family): $10,000
  • Homelessness Prevention Initiative (Emergency Rental Assistance): $15,000
  • Junior Achievement (Global Ready PSD Students K-12): $10,000
  • Lincoln IB World Middle School (Open Door): $15,000
  • CSU Little Shop of Physics (Experiment, Discover, Connect: Enhancing the Elementary Science Experience): $15,000
  • Live the Victory (The Matthews House Empowering Youth): $25,000
  • Lubick Foundation (general support): $5,000
  • Neighbor to Neighbor (Renter Program-Achievement of Housing Stability): $30,000
  • Partners Mentoring Youth of Larimer County (general support): $30,000
  • Project Self-Sufficiency of Loveland-Fort Collins (Cars for Families Program and Transportation Fund): $20,000
  • Project Smile (general support): $10,000
  • Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Center (general support): $15,000
  • Summitstone Health Partners (Grandfamily Support Program): $10,000
  • The Family Center/La Familia (Read, Learn, Explore: After School Program): $30,000
  • The Growing Project (Garden Time): $5,000
  • The Kitchen Community (education program): $10,000

This article first appeared in the Coloradoan.

December 03, 2015 – The Billfold

By Nicole Dieker

The New York Times’ Motherlode blog recently asked how parents and teachers can “make book orders work for children who can’t afford books.” They included a quote from an anonymous source who offered a solution:

“This year, I privately gave money to the teachers in my kids’ classes so they could allow the kids without money to order books each time,”

This idea delights me more than any of the charitably promotional emails I received on #GivingTuesday. I had an instant vision of myself as the Book Fairy, going to Scholastic Book Fairs and giving librarians handfuls of cash to redistribute as needed. (I would, of course, be wearing a tutu made out of book pages, wings, and a mask.)

And then the commenters, to nobody’s surprise, tore Scholastic apart. One person stated that kids don’t need to own books they’re only going to read once or twice; that’s why we have libraries. Another person said that kids didn’t need to be reading the junky pop culture books Scholastic sells. Another person complained about wasting money on cheap trade paperbacks instead of books that would last.

Well. A quick glance at my bookshelf reveals that the majority of my library is made up of cheap trade paperbacks—including a handful of precious volumes from childhood. The spines are cracked, the paper is yellowed, and the covers are torn, but these books have in fact lasted for decades.

Why are the spines cracked? Probably because I read these books dozens of times. Reading a book once or twice and then giving it back to the library was nowhere near enough for me; more often, I’d find a book I loved at the library and then buy my own copy.

And yes, I read and loved the pop culture junk right alongside the classics. I had the “101 Jokes For Kids!” book and the Friends encyclopedia or whatever it was called (admittedly, the idea of writing a “Friendsencyclopedia” for middle schoolers seems a little dubious, but it existed and I read it) and I’d estimate at least a third of my childhood library came directly from Scholastic.

So you already know my answer to this question. Scholastic book orders and book fairs are absolutely worth it, and placing book orders through Scholastic also earns points for your school which can be spent on more books and resources for classrooms or libraries.

But that doesn’t mean my answer is the only correct answer. Do you think Scholastic book orders are worth it? If you have kids, do you encourage them to order books or do you prefer they get their books from other sources?

(Also: because I put my money where my mouth is, I just donated $10 toBookTrust, which gives low-income students the opportunity to order books from Scholastic.)

This article first appeared on The Billfold

December 03, 2015 – CBS4 Denver

Book Trust Raffle: 6 Super Bowl Tickets, Private Jet, 3 Nights In San Francisco For $150

By Lauren DiSpirito

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – You and your friends can enter for a chance to win tickets and private jet transportation to Super Bowl 50. All you have to do is enter NOCO Unify’s “The Big Game in Big Style” raffle by Dec. 13.

Northern Colorado United for Youth, also called NOCO Unify, is raffling off the trip as part of its campaign to raise funds for three charities benefiting children in Northern Colorado communities. The winner of the drawing will receive six tickets to the game, round-trip transportation to and from the game aboard a private Falcon 50 jet, accommodations for three nights, and transportation to and from events once in California.

The trip happens Feb. 5-8. NOCO Unify is selling tickets online for $150 for a single raffle ticket, $400 for three, and $550 for five.

NoCo Unify selected three charities — Book Trust, SAVA, and Turning Point to receive all revenue generated by its events this year, including the raffle.


Book Trust President and CEO Amy Friedman says money raised helps the organization provide new books to more than 38,000 children from low-income families in 15 states. The nonprofit was founded in Fort Collins in 2001.

“Research shows that in low-income families, over 60 percent of homes have no books.” Friedman said. “We really want to address that access issue from the beginning and provide children from low-income families the opportunity to choose their own books and build that home library.”

NOCO Unify President Patrick McMeekin expects to raise between $30,000 to $40,000 through the sale of raffle tickets to split between the three organizations, adding that the recent Broncos win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots is bolstering sales. He says his group came up with the idea for the fundraiser and found a donor to offer use of the private jet.

“Get online, buy tickets,” McMeekin said. “You won’t have this opportunity again.”

The winning raffle ticket will be drawn at The Boot Grill at 4164 Clydesdale Parkway in Loveland on Dec. 13 at 6 p.m. Super Bowl 50 is set to take place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, home of the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, Feb. 7, and airs on CBS4.

LINK: Buy Raffle Tickets To ‘The Big Game In Big Style’

Northern Colorado United For Youth (NOCO Unify) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization comprised of business leaders between the ages of 20 and 39 that are focused on raising money for charities serving disadvantaged children in Northern Colorado.

This article first appeared on CBS4 Denver.

November 25, 2015 – The Coloradoan

Book Trust President & CEO Amy Friedman pens letter: Help Kids Cope With Tragedy Through Reading

It’s called bibliotherapy and it refers to the use of books to help cope with traumatic events. In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris as well as ongoing terrorism scares in Brussels and cities across the world, and as scenes and stories continue to appear in the media landscape, parents may turn to books to help their kids make sense of tragedy.

Books can help moderate tension and facilitate a bridge between a touchy topic and kids’ fears and concerns. Parents who are unsure of how to address a subject with children, or who draw blanks in response to kids’ pointed questions, may also find comfort in using a book as a starting place to enter into a difficult conversation. Experts recommend engaging children in age-appropriate discussions and using resources suitable to kids’ levels of understanding. Books are tremendous resources for framing a conversation in terms comfortable for kids.

Here are a few recommendations:

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace by James Proimos. For kids who are wondering what they can do in the wake of a tragic world event, this story offers suggestions.

On that Day: A Story of Hope for Children by Andrea Patel. Bad things happen, and this book turns that fact into a question of what comes next.

The Survivor Tree: Inspired by a True Story by Cheryl Somers Aubin. A tale of hope and life after tragedy.

The Invisible String by Patricia Karst. A story about how we are all connected brings comfort for kids who may feel anxiety about being separated from families after a traumatic event.

My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss. Talking about emotions can be challenging, but this book offers a great way to discuss feelings with kids.

Amy Friedman is President and CEO of Book Trust, a national nonprofit literacy organization founded in Fort Collins, Colorado and based in Denver, Colorado. 

This letter first appeared in the Coloradoan.

April 13, 2015 – TEDx RINO

At TEDx RINO, Book Trust President and CEO Amy Friedman shares an array of moving statistics on literacy rates among under privileged children in the United States. She asks that we consider intellectual deserts the same way we strive to eradicate food deserts and encourages us to reimagine them into rich learning environments that promote literacy and learning.


March 4, 2015 – 9NEWS Denver

Book Trust Celebrates World Read Aloud Day

Ervin Johnson Munroe Elementary
Former Nuggets player, Ervin Johnson reads to Book Trust students at Munroe Elementary in Denver

DENVER – When Amy Friedman looks around the classroom at Munroe Elementary School in Denver, she sees students who need help obtaining books.

“For low-income children, a book is incredibly special to them,” Friedman said. “Most low-income families, over 60 percent, have no books in the home and that’s something we take for granted.”

Friedman is president and CEO of Book Trust, a nonprofit group donating $7 per month per student to help them purchase books from Scholastic Book Club flyers.

“When it is a matter of choosing between a gallon of milk and a book, the gallon of milk wins out,” Friedman said.

Wednesday is known as World Read Aloud Day. To help celebrate literacy, former Denver Nuggets Player Ervin Johnson and a local author, M.J. Evans, read to students at Munroe and helped pass out their newly purchased books.

“Reading aloud is so important, not only for kids from birth to five, as they are creating this social connection, emotional connection through reading,” Friedman said. “Building that rich vocabulary for kids before they go into pre-school and kindergarten.”

Research shows that students who are proficient readers by third grade have a better chance of succeeding academically throughout high school. While those who are not proficient in reading by third grade tend to fall behind, according to research. Last year, the latest test scores showed that 72 percent of all third graders in public schools are proficient readers.

Friedman says the efforts by Book Trust are working to improve that. Some students will finish the school year with 30 new book purchased with the help of Book Trust.

“Not only is it instilling a culture of literacy in the classroom, but it’s also doing so in a home,” Friedman.

December 2, 2014 – Open Media Foundation

Open Media Foundation

Book Trust Receives Independent Voice Award From Open Media Foundation

Book Trust is honored to be a recipient of an Independent Voice Award from the Open Media Foundation. Each year, the Open Media Foundation hosts an event celebrating independent voices in Denver. Of the hundreds of nonprofits and thousands of individuals served every year, OMF selects one individual and two organizations to honor, as well as one “Independent Voice of the Year” award. Book Trust was selected as one of the organizations of honor.


December 2, 2014 – Kate And Justin Rose Foundation

RoseFoundation_LogoThe Kate and Justin Rose Foundation team up with BookTrust to provide books for kids from low-income families. Students choose the books they want to read and build a home library. $100 provides books for one child for the entire school year and supplies the children with up to 30 books per year. Together, Book Trust and the Kate and Justin Rose Foundation are bringing the Book Trust Program to over 1,600 students in 4 high poverty schools in Florida.



March 26, 2014 – CBS4 Denver

Book Trust Program Inspires Low Income Children To Learn

DENVER (CBS4) – Sixty percent of low income children have no books in their homes, but an organization called “Book Trust” is working to change that.

CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll went to Munroe Elementary School in Denver to see what new books mean to children eager to have a story of their own.

In the first grade class it might just have been the most exciting day of the year. It was reading time and there were visitors — but that wasn’t the big news.

Caleb digs into one of his new books (credit: CBS)
Caleb digs into one of his new books (credit: CBS)

“I got a new book,” 7-year-old Caleb said. He received brand new books that he picked out and can keep.

“So I picked ‘Hooray Fly Guy’ and there was a ‘There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick’ “ he said.Owning his own books is a real treat for Caleb.

“What do you learn from reading?” McCarroll asked Caleb.

“A lot of new things. Like in fiction books I can hear new stories; and in non-fiction books I can learn new facts about things or animals,” Caleb replied. That’s the sentiment the Book Trust program is based on — reading helps kids love learning. Book Trust buys brand new books for kids who might otherwise not be able to afford books at home.

“We help kids fall in love reading. We target kids in some of the neediest communities, not just here in Denver, but across the state, and actually across the country too,” Amy Friedman with the Book Trust program said.

“Since I was a single mother of three it was just really hard because I had to buy food and pay rent, and there was just no money for books,” a mother said. More than 25,000 young students got brand-new books last year and more will be cracking open the pages this year.

“What I like about reading is that I get smarter,” a young girl said. The books are helping students dream about life beyond first grade.

“Do you want to go to college and what do you want to be when you grow up?” McCarroll asked Caleb.

“Yes I do want to go to college, and when I grow up I want to be a scientist,” he said. Those are the dreams the Book Trust program is helping build.

This article first appeared on CBS4 Denver.


Book Trust