A library card for every kindergartner

IREADIREAD is a new initiative providing kindergartners in Shawnee County with a gift of a book, their first library card and a wallet for the card. Giving the students a specially designed library card also encourages a love of reading. The initiative was funded by the Robert C. and Dorothy L. Harder Book Fund. For years, Bob and Dottie gave books to Lowman Hill Elementary School students during the holidays, and Bob volunteered there as a reader.

Bob passed away two years ago, and will be remembered for his contributions to his family, community, church, state and library. To honor his love and investment in children, the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library has renamed IREAD the Harder IREAD Kindergarten program.

Because of the gifts made in memory of Bob, the program has expanded the program from eight schools this year to 17 schools next year. This will make a remarkable impact on a number of kindergarteners. So far, supporters have given more than $14,000 for this important program. The ultimate goal is for all kindergarteners in Shawnee County to have their own library card.

Would you consider making a gift to the Harder IREAD Kindergarten program so it can impact more kindergarteners in Shawnee County? Your gift of $50 can provide the program for 12 children and a gift of $250 can sponsor an entire school’s kindergarteners. Please help us expand the program into more schools and honor the memory of this extraordinary man.

Children’s lives are shaped by the support they receive along the way. We ask you to join us as we lay the foundation for them to grow into lifelong readers.

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