— Innovative Program Will Bring Vital Literacy Resources to Kenton Elementary in Aurora —

DENVER, CO (Feb. 17, 2016) – On February 17, 2016, Mile High United Way and 2016 Denver Bronco Super Bowl Champion and NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee, David Bruton Jr. will launch “Club Connect” at Kenton Elementary School in Aurora. United Way Club Connect provides schools with resources to improve early-grade reading through an onsite Reading Oasis library, an online reading platform for each child, and an incentive program and tools to support parental engagement. The innovative reading program focuses on third grade, a critical year in reading proficiency for students.

“We are so thrilled to be opening the very first United Way Club Connect in Colorado here at Kenton Elementary, made possible by a generous donation from David Bruton Jr. and Bruton’s Books,” said Christine Benero, president and CEO of Mile High United Way. “David Bruton Jr. has been an incredible partner of ours, as we share the same passion and vision for ensuring children become strong readers by the end of third grade. He is a true champion both on the field and off the field.”

At the center of the program is a “Reading Oasis” in the school, which provides a comfortable space complete with 500 new books from Scholastic, bean bag chairs, and an audio book listening center. It is a safe and inviting location where students, families, and community partners can meet and enjoy reading together while gaining access to books year-round.

“We are extremely excited and thankful for the opportunity to develop a Reading Oasis at Kenton Elementary,” said Heather Woodward, Principal of Kenton Elementary. “It is critically important that our students have easy access to books and now there will be a dedicated and beautiful space for students and their families to grow in their love for literacy together.”

United Way Club Connect at Kenton Elementary is funded by David Bruton Jr. and Bruton’s Books, the charitable program of the David Bruton Jr. Fund to help underserved children in grades K-3 become strong readers through tutoring and by providing books to underfunded schools, libraries, and classrooms.

“It is so important to me personally to do my part in helping children have access to books and develop a love of reading, especially at the elementary school level,” said Bruton Jr. “I hope this is just one of many Club Connect programs I can support through my partnership with Mile High United Way and our local schools.”

United Way Club Connect also helps elementary school students by providing relevant books and resources to promote reading and parent engagement throughout the entire year. In addition to the Reading Oasis, every child receives a free one-year membership to the Club Connect website, which encourages a love for reading and offers incentives to read after school and through the summer. The interactive website unitedwayclubconnect.org features educational games, videos, e-books and more. Parental engagement is also a primary focus, which empowers families to help their children read and learn, especially during the summer months when students can tend to lose achievement gains they made during the previous school year.

Club Connect Adopt-A-School was launched by United Way Worldwide in partnership with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and Scholastic in 2014. To date, 85 elementary schools across the US have participated in the program.

Media Contacts:

Shelby Ross

Mile High United Way

Shelby.Ross@unitedwaydenver.org

303.561.2143 (o)

970.978.1733 (c)
Judianne Atencio

ProLink Sports | Bruton’s Books

Jatencio@prolinksports.net

303.886.3950

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About Mile High United Way

Mile High United Way creates opportunities for all children, their families and individuals through our unique position at the intersection of the public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. We are more than an organization—we are a catalyst for social change. We develop long-term solutions that ensure children are learning and reading at grade-level; young people graduate from high school ready for college or the workforce; and families and individuals have their basic needs met and are afforded every opportunity to move toward economic success. Learn more at http://www.unitedwaydenver.org/.

About Bruton’s Books

Founded in 2015, Bruton’s Books’ mission is to help low-income children in grades K-3 become strong readers through tutoring and by providing books to underfunded schools, libraries, and classrooms.

About NAESP

Established in 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) leads in the advocacy and support for elementary and middle school principals in the United States and internationally. NAESP supports principals as the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning through policy and professional development, advocacy, programs and resources for effective instructional leadership. NAESP advances the profession on behalf of all principals, providing specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and capacity-building educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit www.naesp.org.

About Scholastic

Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology and related services and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality books, print and technology-based learning materials and programs, magazines, multi-media and other products that help children learn both at school and at home.  The Company distributes its products and services worldwide through a variety of channels including school-based book clubs and book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, on-air and online at www.scholastic.com.