The Reno Rodeo Foundation has been serving children with extraordinary needs for over 31 years. The foundation supports 60,000 a year including foster children through the annual Denim Drive which provides new clothes, new rolling back-packs, and new teddy bears to infants, children and teens in 14 Northern Nevada counties.
Second Judicial District Court Family Division Reading Rooms directly fits the mission of the Reno Rodeo Foundation by helping many of the same children served through the Denim Drive. There are about 20,000 children in Washoe County who must attend court due to various reasons, none of which has been a result of their own behavior.
Judge Egan Walker, the visionary behind the project, described the fact that as families go through court proceedings children are exposed to an emotionally challenging situation. The objective of this worthwhile endeavor is to create welcoming and friendly Reading Rooms located outside of the family courtroom. This will offer children a refuge from the emotional trauma and establish a place where they can feel safe and comfortable.
Two Reading Rooms decorated for children in a way that creates a sense of comfort have been established. The Rotary Club of Midtown helped raise funds to prepare the inviting rooms and Delta Kappa Gamma, an organization of retired teachers, will order the age and content appropriate books as well as read to the children during each court visit.
The Reno Rodeo Foundation Board of Trustees approved $10,000 to fund the purchase of new books. Clara Andriola, Reno Rodeo Foundation Executive Director, shared that “our goal is to collect $10,000 every year to match the Reno Rodeo Foundation’s $10,000 annual contribution.
We want this program to be sustainable and intend to raise money through various fundraising efforts, including incorporating the project into the 2018 Denim Drive donation campaign running from November 12th through December 31st.
Plumas Bank answered the financial need by donating $2,500 to purchase new books this year. Executive Vice President & Chief Banking Officer, BJ North, commented “Plumas Bank is excited to participate in helping support the Reading Rooms. We are thrilled to provide new books for children and encourage other organizations and individuals to help reach the Reno Rodeo Foundation’s $20,000 annual goal."
Each child will be gifted a new book to take home. In many cases, this may be the first new book they've ever owned and it will send a message to every child that someone cares. The Judges hearing these cases support this project and understand the importance of creating an environment that minimizes trauma for children who must attend court proceedings.
Judge Robb, the District Judge in the Family Division of the Second Judicial District in Washoe County explained “Courthouses are usually sterile and intimidating. The Family Division recognizes the importance of providing children involved in court proceedings a place where they can feel welcome, secure and not so overwhelmed. We hope providing books for children to take home will bring them a little comfort in a very difficult time in their lives, while at the same time showing them education is important. We cannot thank the Reno Rodeo Foundation, Plumas Bank and everyone involved in this effort for everything they are doing to make a child’s life a little brighter."
There is no other program like this in Nevada. Only one state, Georgia, has a reading room that began in 2016, resulting in wonderful outcomes for the foster children.
“We appreciate Plumas Bank and recognize the need for everyone’s support so that each child who walks through the courtroom leaves with a brand new book to keep as their own and is deeply touched through the generosity of our community”, said Dr. Larry Frugoli, Reno Rodeo Foundation President. “We are proud that 100% of your donation will be used for the Reading Room books."
The Reno Rodeo Foundation is a Nevada based registered 501(c)3, Federal Tax ID 88-0230538. Please contact the Reno Rodeo Foundation at email@example.com or visit RenoRodeoFoundation.org for more information.
This article was provided by Clara Andriola, executive director of the Reno Rodeo Foundation. Plumas Bank in Reno sponsors this content.