2020 For the Love of Books breakfast: A Success!

“At what age do young children start decoding the world around them?”

This was the thought-provoking question that ROR-KC Medical Director Sallie Page-Goertz recently asked 180 community members and leaders, including Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and former Mayor Sly James. Sallie was the honorary host for our successful 2020 For the Love of Books Breakfast last month at a brand new location, Grand Street Cafe.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas welcoming the 2020 For the Love of Books breakfast attendees.

On a cold Thursday morning when you’d typically be driving into work thinking about the day ahead, we gave our attendees the opportunity to take a break from the norm and gather for breakfast, meaningful conversation and a glimpse into Reach Out and Read Kansas City’s world.

Even with the temperatures dropping, attendees warmed our hearts with their generous donations, and we’re grateful for the $53,560 the event has grossed so far.

2020 For the Love of Books breakfast honorary host Sallie Page-Goertz speaking to audience members.

Throughout the morning, inspiration came in many forms as Sallie challenged us to envision what it would feel like for a child on a day-to-day basis that didn’t have access to books or know how to read, how reading would feel like a difficult code. To put this theory to the test, ROR-KC staff made a code listed on the For the Love of Books breakfast programs for attendees to decipher. The code resulted in: Books Are Awesome!

In Kansas City’s lowest income neighborhoods, research estimates only one book is owned in the home per 300 children. ROR-KC  is doing all we can to bridge this gap so that all children in the Kansas City area have a book to call their own.

Sallie then explained an interesting Princeton University study conducted earlier this year, click here to read more. A team of Princeton researchers developed a new way to measure baby and adult brain activity during natural interaction. It’s not your imagination — you and your baby or grandbaby really are on the same wavelength!

Our guests were then treated to an insightful Q&A lead by Fox 4’s Shannon O’Brien towards our Keynote Speakers, local children’s book authors Aja James and Audrey Masoner. We learned more about them as individuals and their journey into how Mayor Sly and the Magic Bow Tie: A Kansas City Adventure” was born.

ROR-KC would like to extend a special thank you to our event sponsors: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, CommunityAmerica Credit Union, Hallmark, Sallie Page-Goertz & Kenneth Goertz, Pamela Madaus & William McLean III and The Walsh Family Foundation. 

ROR-KC would also like to extend a special thank you to this year’s For the Love of Books breakfast committee: Jeni Cosgrove (Chair), Tanya Rodecker Wendt, Laura Blasi MD, Angie Endicott, Cynde Fry, Elizabeth Hobart, and Tiffany Wu. Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to this event!

Thank you to Fox 4’s Shannon O’Brien for being our Emcee for the morning and to the staff at Grand Street Cafe.

We hope we will have your support for next year’s For the Love of Books breakfast!

Special Donation

Tyler, Kelli and Oakley Boxberger full of smiles as they donate.

One Kansas City family is doing their part to keep the magic of reading alive for local children through their late son, Jace. This year, to honor Jace on his birthday, Kelli and Tyler Boxberger donated 2,578 new and gently-used books. Just last year, the Boxbergers donated 1,438 books to grow Jace’s Birthday Book Drive.

“Jace loved books and we tried to instill a love of reading in him from the day he was born. Our hope is that his annual Birthday Book Drive continues to spread literacy and his budding passion for reading. By helping to keep his memory alive not just within our circle of friends and family, but in every child who receives one of his books,” Kelli said.

We at ROR-KC are so grateful to Tyler, Kelli and their beautiful baby girl, Oakley, who also shares a love of reading!

Meet Ellen and Alex

Ellen and Alex with their favorite children’s book!

Reach Out and Read Kansas City has two new staff members to welcome! Ellen Quinn has joined ROR-KC as our full-time Event and Communications Coordinator. A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Ellen earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from The University of Kansas and has worked as a news anchor and reporter, event planner and marketing/communications coordinator. Ellen is excited to join the team and has a lot to share with her new coworkers. She loves reading, her cat Simba (animals in general), and traveling with her husband and family. Ellen also volunteers at The University of Kansas Cancer Center, KC Pet Project, and Gilda’s Club of Kansas City. When she was a little girl, the local library or book store was her favorite place to be. Some things never change!

Alex Hernandez is an intern with ROR-KC and a University of Missouri Kansas City senior studying Health Sciences. Although she is undecided on what exact path she wants to pursue in life, she is interested in applying her knowledge and skills while at ROR-KC. She hopes to gain more insight into her interests and learn more about how program management works. During her free time, she enjoys reading, playing ukulele or guitar, watching YouTube videos, and volunteering at KC Pet Project. After her internship, Alex plans on staying in Kansas City working closely with a nonprofit.

Welcome Ellen and Alex!