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Here's a quick update for everybody:

ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 1999, 6:00 p.m.
Barragan's Restaurant, 1538 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, CA. 90026.
(213) 250-4256

Dinner will be provided, starting at 6:30 p.m., and arranged (not cooked) by Raul Fernandez.

If you have an interest in getting more involved with Reading to Kids, this is a meeting you should not miss! We will be discussing the topics set forth below and we are looking for people to get more involved by bringing their own ideas to the table. Those of you who have participated in a Reading Club session are eminently qualified to participate, so please consider getting more involved.

We set a new record for students in September. Our fifth consecutive record! Our volunteers read to 115 students. However, because of the Rosh Hashanah holiday, we had fewer volunteers in September than in the month before for the first time in five months. We need EVERYONE'S help to turn that around in October. Our goal is a minimum of 48 volunteers! With 48 volunteers we will have 24 classes, which works out to 4 classes per grade level. With 4 classes per grade level, and assuming six students per grade, we can accommodate 144 students in October.

Jon Tomlin, Brad Hall, Sean Morris, Maryann Vogelsang, and I have been hard at work the last couple of weeks doing the following:

(1) We have set up a bank account for our organization, and starting next week we will be accepting and actively seeking donations, which will primarily cover the following: (a) food for the volunteers and parents; (b) books to be donated to Gratts and future elementary schools that participate in our programs. This will be discussed at the Organizational Meeting.

(2) The website continues to be improved (http://www.readingtokids.org). By the middle of next week, the online application form will be completed. We will also have the ability for people to RSVP online and to check out the latest month's Reading List. Finally, we are in the process of setting up online bulletin boards so we can discuss the development of this project. Feel free to browse the site now, keeping in mind that September 22 is the date we will consider the site operational. So, if you have friends who might be interested, please refer them to the website after September 22. Please also note that this system of e-mailing updates will also be changing within the next couple of weeks. We will go to a far more efficient web based system. Stay tuned for further details.

(3) Today we will be mailing to the State of California our forms officially beginning the process of incorporating as a nonprofit corporation. Sean Morris (through the generosity of his firm, Arnold & Porter) has spearheaded this effort and has done a fantastic job.

(4) Jon and I will be going, along with many of the teachers from Gratts, to the LA Times Reading by Nine Conference this weekend. We'll report back to you on what we learned.

Once again, thanks for your continuing interest in reading to kids as a way to promote literacy. Our new organization is setting up the foundation for the future development of the Reading Clubs. If you would like to be a part of this growth, please come to the meeting next Tuesday. If you can't make it on Tuesday, please feel free to share your ideas on the website starting next week, and we hope to see you at Gratts in October.

Jason

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