SBCO Encourages Reading With Handmade Bookcases For First Grade Students

by Nancy McCluskey-Moore

In August , SaddleBrooke Ranch residents delivered 15 handmade bookcases to first grade students at Ray School in Kearny. The bookcases were built by Ranch woodworkers Ron Gustafson, Jeff Hansen, Barry Milner, Scott Saxson and Dan Carter. They worked nights at the Ranch woodshed to build these sturdy, handsome bookcases.

L-R: Ron Gustafson, Jeff Hansen, Barry Milner, Scott Saxon and Dan Carter

For many years, the Rotary Club of Kearny helped to finance and construct the bookcases. The program, which has received annual grants from SaddleBrooke Community Outreach, also provides for each child to receive two books per year (though third grade) to store on the bookcases.





When the Rotary Club backed away from the program, local woodworking/shop class students built the bookcases. Then prisoners in Florence were paid to build them. Finally, SaddleBrooke Ranch residents who enjoy woodworking volunteered their talent and time to build the bookcases for two years in a row.

This year the children also received a framed art piece featuring a quote from Dr. Seuss, “You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book. These pieces were made by a Debbie Carter. The bookcases, books and art piece are designed to encourage the students to embrace a lifelong love of reading.


SBCO is grateful to the residents of SaddleBrooke Ranch who so generously contribute their skills and resources to support this and other programs.