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Lt. Gov. Garcia encourages book donations for MLK Day of Service

DENVER – Dec. 18, 2012 – Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia will observe this Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service and the Centennial State’s commitment to early literacy with the Colorado Reads Book Drive.


Sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and AmeriCorps Colorado, this year’s goal is to collect more than 10,000 children’s books by Jan. 18, 2013.


“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that the best way to strengthen communities was to increase opportunities for all Americans,” said Garcia. “Coloradans can pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy by providing the next generation of readers with the tools they need to succeed.”


Since its designation as a federal holiday by Congress in 1994, volunteers from Serve Colorado- the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, have led the effort to on MLK Day to promote service and provide the public with volunteer opportunities.


This year organizers are encouraging the donation of gently used or new books for children from birth through 10-years-old at collection sites across the state.


A complete list of collection sites is available at: www.colorado.gov/ltgovernor/serve


Donations will support youth served by Denver Public Schools, Community Building Partnerships for Youth in Transition, and the United Way of Larimer County.


AmeriCorps, a division of the Corporation for National Community Service, has more than 16,000 members working on MLK Day to organize thousands of service opportunities across all 50 states.


To participate in other service projects on MLK Day, register your own project, designate your business a book donation site, or learn more about the Colorado Reads Book Drive, please visit the Serve Colorado website at www.colorado.gov/servecolorado.




About Serve Colorado - Governor's Commission on Community Service
Serve Colorado strives to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in Colorado. Serve Colorado works under the leadership of a board of fifteen Commissioners to distribute and administer Colorado's allocation of AmeriCorps*State funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The current program portfolio consists of fifteen programs working to meet a variety of immediate and local needs throughout Colorado communities, including environmental stewardship, academic tutoring, youth mentoring, healthy futures, economic opportunity, and more! Additionally, Serve Colorado promotes volunteerism and service as a means to strengthen Colorado communities through days of service, special initiatives, and community partnerships.


About AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a National Service Program committed to meeting community needs in education, public safety, health and environment. In Colorado, there are 16,000 AmeriCorps members working to meet the needs of 1,100 national and local nonprofits by providing various services including tutoring, mentoring, providing health services, environmental restoration, disaster response, and volunteer recruitment and management. Since 1994, AmeriCorps members in Colorado have served more than 20 million hours in the community.


About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state’s largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 535,000 members through 26 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. The health plan was named “Highest in Member Satisfaction” among Commercial Health Plans by J.D. Power and Associates for the fifth straight year. Kaiser Permanente was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top-ranked commercial health plan in Colorado, No. 6 in the nation and the second ranked Medicare plan in the U.S. Kaiser Permanente was also recently recognized as a 2012 Hypertension Champion by Million Hearts™. In 2011, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $90 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. facebook.com/kpcolorado.


About Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service - a "day on, not a day off." The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King's vision of a "Beloved Community."