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Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley Launches Cooper Literacy Program

Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley Launches Cooper Literacy Program–A Comprehensive Program to Teach Kids to Love Reading

Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, with approximately 2,700 members, more than half of them from families where English is not their first language, has established the BGCWV Cooper Literacy Program, a comprehensive approach to helping children of the West Valley ages 6-17 become proficient in reading and seeing reading as a tool to a better life and an enjoyable pastime.

The BGCWV Cooper Literacy Program is the Club’s umbrella literacy program, providing Club members with a wide range of programs and activities, including the Cooper Reading Challenge in the fall.

In 2007, Martin Cooper, the Club’s Chairman Emeritus, created the Cooper Reading Challenge. In this annual program Club members read age-appropriate books and share what they’ve learned through a book report, picture, or participation in a group discussion. In December, those who participate visit Barnes & Noble Booksellers; each receiving $25 to purchase one or more books for themselves. For many, this is their first visit to a bookstore and the first book they have owned. Every year, Cooper raises $7,500-$10,000 from the community to underwrite the program. To date, the Cooper Reading Challenge has raised in excess of $93,000 and more than 3,200 Club members have participated.

Last year, Cooper and his wife Barbara created the Cooper Endowed Fund for Literacy Programs to create the Cooper Literacy Program with an initial gift commitment of $100,000. The intent is to ensure a legacy of literacy programs offered to young people across the West Valley as they believe that literacy is a key foundation to a successful, fulfilling, and enjoyable life.

Activities at the Club’s seven sites encourage youth to enjoy reading through engagement in various educational experiences that spark curiosity, allow kids to explore their interests, and create opportunities to build academic and social skills.

For more information or to contribute to the BGCWV Cooper Literacy Program, go to

The program’s Advisory Council consists of community leaders who will both provide input to the Club and represent the program in the community. Initial members of the Advisory Council are:

▪ Bob Blumenfield, Los Angeles City Councilmember
▪ Charles Crumpley, Editor, Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley Business Journals
▪ Adrienne Tymon Kentor, Volunteer College Advisor/Mentor, Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley
▪ Christine Lardoux, Manager, Barnes & Noble, Calabasas
▪ Donato Ricci, General Manager, The Oaks at Lakeside
▪ Jan Sobel, Former President/CEO, Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley
▪ Ben Steinberger, Public Affairs Manager, SoCal Gas Co.
▪ Kathleen Sterling, Publisher/Editor, Valley News Group
▪ Henry Stern, California State Senator
▪ Mark Stover, University Library Dean, CSUN
▪ Jessica Yasukochi, Vice President, VICA
▪ Dennis P. Zine, LA City Councilmember (ret.)

About Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley

With safe places to learn and play, positive role models, and educational enrichment programming, Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley has served local youngsters for over 30 years. The Club’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible adults.

To volunteer and get involved contact or 818.610.1054.

The Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is a tax-exempt public charity (federal tax ID #95-4419365). All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.



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Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley is a registered 501(c)(3) in the state of California and is permitted to receive gifts in Los Angeles. EIN: 95-4419365