Cleo Haase, a 13 year old 7th grader at Carondelet Catholic School in Minneapolis, was wondering what project to focus on for her “Genius Hour” project. The Genius Hour is a time where students spend 1 hour each week working on a passion with an end goal. Cleo knew she wanted to do something with books and possibly organize a book drive but wasn’t sure where she wanted the donation to go. After talking with her classroom teacher, Mrs. Melanie Johnson-Aylward, it became clear….Reach Out and Read MN! Mrs. Johnson-Aylward knows about Reach Out and Read because her husband, Dr. Michael Aylward, is the wonderful super-committed Medical Consultant at Community-University Health Care Center (CUHCC) in Minneapolis.. 

Cleo knows it’s important for kids to have the opportunity to be able to read and the books she collected could be given to older children, sick kids, or siblings at clinics that have Reach Out and Read. Once she had a recipient for the books, Cleo got  to work. She organized a book drive at her school for 2 weeks during January. Cleo made posters and provided bins at school to collect the books. She then organized them into10 shopping bags, counted them, and contacted Reach Out and Read staff to coordinate the book pick up. Cleo collected 300 new and used books!

Many thanks to Cleo and her teacher, Mrs. Johnson-Aylward, for this wonderful donation.