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May 2007 - Steps for Literacy

"Steps for literacy" Rally Showcases Casey

The Fifth Annual "Steps for Literacy" rally was held on Friday, May 20th, 2005. Students and faculty walked around the school on the "Nature Trail" created by Ms. Wheeler's leadership class in 2002 and then to the Pearl Street Mall. Students carried posters and banners that promoted literacy and reading. These had been placed on route by this year's leadership class.

The event included a silent-auction that ran concurrently with the sprint book fair, the spring band-orchestra concert, and a rally held on Friday, May 4th.

*About the Steps for Literacy Rally*
A celebration of diversity, literacy, and leadership.

For the fifth straight year the Casey Community has partnered with in3corp and several other business owners in downtown Boulder to host the "Steps for Literacy" rally. The event helps to build relationships between Casey Middle School and the greater community while at the same time celebrates the importance of literacy. It also helps to raise much needed funds for Casey's specialized literacy, language, and leadership programs.

*About Casey Middle School*

"What makes Casey Middle School stand out is the different strata of diversity, both socioeconomic and ethnic," says Katherine Singey, a Casey Middle School reading teacher and co-organizer of Steps for Literacy. Casey Middle School is one of the most diverse middle schools in the Boulder area, with students coming from a variety of cultural backgrounds and speaking several different languages. Casey offers a dynamic and exhilarating learning environment that provides a wide range of extracurricular activities and programs, including the Community Learning Center (which offers free after school, weekend, and summer activities), Pre-Advanced Placement courses, and Leadership classes. The faculty at Casey work hard to cultivate an environment that affords students with an in-depth learning experience through reading, writing, class discussion, and celebration of cultural diversity. However, precisely because of this multiplicity, the school faces additional challenges to provide the needed resources and tools for the student's growth and development.

One such way Casey Middle School strives to address its student's needs is by partnering with the National Association for Bilingual Education to provide a comprehensive Dual Immersion Bilingual program. Singey elaborates "Casey offers a Bi-lingual program with about 50-60 participating students in the program. Half of these children are native speakers, while the other half speak English as a second language. These students learn Language Arts, Reading, and Social Studies in Spanish." The Bilingual program has been successful not only in providing the tools and resources for English as a Second Language students to succeed, but also gives native English speakers an edge in achieving complete proficiency in another language. Singey continues,
"It is really quite an extraordinary program. Some children, who attend University Elementary, which also has a bi-lingual program, are fluent in Middle Level Spanish by the time they finish 8th grade. What we are trying to do next is work with Boulder High School to create a viable bi-lingual program that spans K-12. This means that there would be many students with English as a first language that would graduate with college level proficiency in oral and written Spanish. They would be able to read high-level literature in Spanish at the end of high school."

*The Steps for Literacy Rally and Fundraiser*

The all-school parade and rally feature literary guest speakers, live music, and performances by the Baile Folklorico Dance Troupe. Following the rally, a series of events and activities continue into the evening, including a potluck with authentic Mexican tamales, poetry readings, and a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as performances by Casey's Choir. The Steps for Literacy, live and silent auction remains ongoing throughout the evening to raise crucial funds, which will go directly back to the classrooms.

In the months leading up to the rally, Casey Middle School students fundraise on Pearl Street, asking local and corporate businesses to help by donating money, products or items for sale, or gifts certificates for the silent auction. Sabrina Platt, a parent of a Casey Middle School student and co-organizer the event comments, "I love watching the children fundraise and take pride in their school. It is truly amazing for kids to realize that their community supports their school and stands behind them." Singey comments about how she sees the canvassing as central to Steps for Literacy's Success:

"Canvassing helps the children become familiar with the business community and helps them learn how to interact with business leaders. It has introduced Casey Middle School to the downtown area and has helped build partnership between the school and businesses. The kids that fundraise develop relationships with the community and business leaders and, as a result, develop greater confidence in themselves. It is truly remarkable; these businesses become our friends and know our kids by name, and we often know the business owners and managers by name, as well."

The donations have enriched the library, enhancing the variety of books so that more students can find a book that interests him or her. Casey is able to give each child a book for his or her own personal library before holiday and summer break. The program has also helped raise funds for necessary math and science resources for students, such as graphing calculators, which would otherwise not be available.

in3 and Casey Middle School invite you to join us again at next year's rally on Pearl Street. Singey insists, "Come see what it is like when kids are rallying for learning. The event is a display of what is at the heart of this very diverse school." Enjoy food, entertainment, and a silent auction, while supporting a literacy and education in your community.

*Why it is important to Support Your Community and Local Schools*
As a business committed to giving back to the Boulder community, in3 finds it a highly valuable and rewarding experience to help facilitate the growth of the community's youth through developing partnerships with local schools. in3 has tremendously enjoyed being a part of Steps for Literacy Campaign and witnessing the impact the program has had on Casey Middle School's progress.

Miguel Zavala, CEO of in3corp and co-founder of Steps for Literacy comments:
"I think of local education as a local investment. Many of in3's Boulder ranks passed through local schools. Involvement and investment in our local schools is involvement and investment in our business' future. I especially enjoy seeing the kids on the event day. I enjoy their smiles as they realize that the community recognizes and praises their educational endeavors. I would be especially rewarded if, some day, I had the opportunity to hire one of the students whose educational path took them through Casey and Steps for Literacy.

*Ways to Support Casey Middle School*

Please support your community by helping local schools! If you would like to become an individual or corporate donor, please visit or contact the Message Line at 303.245.5948. If you would like to volunteer with the Steps for Literacy campaign, please contact Sabrina Platt at for more information.