SAN FERNANDO VALLEY, CA — The Fifth Annual Cooper Reading Challenge, which was created to help instill the love of reading in children of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, is underway. Last year, more than 200 Boys & Girls Club children earned the privilege to select one or more books at a local bookstore, all funded through community donations. Between now and December 1, children of the Club will read age-appropriate books and write a review in order to qualify for a trip to Barnes & Noble bookstore in Woodland Hills. At the bookstore, each child will have $25 to spend on one or more books for themselves or family members.
The Reading Challenge began five years ago in celebration of Cooper Communications’ 25th anniversary. The event, in which Cooper Communications provided $25 for each of 25 youngsters in its first year, has grown exponentially; this year’s goal is to underwrite the costs of books for 225 children. “This program isn’t about fundraising, it’s about teaching children to love and value books and reading,” said Martin Cooper, President of Cooper Communications, Inc. “In order to make it a meaningful experience for both the children and the sponsors, I ask that the sponsors attend at least one book-shopping excursion to help the children select the books.” To make the excursion even more memorable, Barnes & Noble will give the children a 20 percent discount on their book purchases and even treat them to snacks and goodies while they shop.
The nonprofit Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley was founded in 1992 as a response to the local need for safe, healthy, productive activities for youth during non-school hours. Currently, 81 percent of the West Valley Club’s members come from families below the poverty line. The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is located at 7245 Remmet Ave., Canoga Park. For more informaiton about the club, call (818) 610-1054 or visit www.wvbgc. org.