DENVER, CO – Denver Broncos Safety David Bruton Jr. announced today the establishment of The David Bruton Foundation and its charitable program Bruton’s Books.

The Foundation will focus on schools across the Denver Metro area that reside in lower income communities where students are struggling to read proficiently. Bruton’s Books will partner with the Colorado Reading Corps and School Partners, both strategic programs of Mile High United Way’s School Readiness Initiative.

Through Colorado Reading Corps, Mile High United Way is able to increase the human capacity of elementary schools by integrating diverse, smart, passionate and trained AmeriCorps tutors into the classroom. The tutors help children in grades K-3 become strong readers by providing access to additional reading support in the form of daily one-on-one tutoring based on research-based best practices. The School Partners Program, a collaboration between Mile High United Way, Denver Public Schools (DPS) and Denver Public Schools Foundation, pairs businesses with a DPS second or third grade classroom, where teams of employees read with the students once a week to help build their literacy skills, and build positive relationships.

In addition to regular visits to encourage the students, Bruton’s Books will grant funds and organize book donations to designated grades, students and classrooms in the selected schools.

Bruton’s Books initial program is to allocate funds to the selected schools for the students to choose books to own and take with them to their homes to enjoy over the summer. Summer “Brain Drain” is a concern as kids lose as much as two to three months of math and reading skills over the summer, with the losses being more marked among lower-income kids.

“My background in substitute teaching gave me a better awareness of the need for better reading skills support in our schools. We need to take this seriously and ensure that our children are able to read at grade level,” says David Bruton Jr. “I am happy to continue my work with Mile High United Way and partner Bruton’s Books with their School Readiness Initiative.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering this year with Denver Bronco David Bruton, who is an amazing example of how Broncos players are committed to helping the community and serve as role models for young people,” says Christine Benero, president and CEO, Mile High United Way. “Getting books into the hands of children is an important part of helping them develop a love of reading and making sure that they are reading at grade level by the end of third grade.”

Additional information can be found at www.brutonsbooks.org, on Twitter at @BrutonsBooks and Facebook at Bruton’s Books.