Taking Graland into the Community
Under the direction of Kieffer Williams, associate director of admission and outreach, Graland was involved with several local organizations to share resources and expertise in the greater Denver community.
African Community Center
Led by English teachers Kimm Lucas and Cristina Peña, Graland literacy students built relationships with refugees from around the world via the African Community Center (ACC). The project involved mutual sharing of life stories through “show and tell” activities; for example, Avery Anderson (5) shared her great-grandfather’s naturalization certificate from the 1830s. The partnership allowed students to gain a new perspective on the diversity of every person’s life story.
The Challenge Foundation
Several Graland employees worked for months cultivating a relationship with The Challenge Foundation, an organization that gives smart, ambitious kids from low-income families the opportunity to learn in rigorous educational settings. In 2018, Graland welcomed its first two Challenge students into the Middle School and plans to bring in two more students each year
Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS)
Graland kindergarten teachers Liza Baker and Wendy Demartini were guest speakers at two meetings of MOPS where they shared their expertise on topics such as kindergarten readiness and early literacy. This is the second year of our involvement with MOPS.
Wish for Wheels
On one professional development day last year, faculty and staff volunteered to build bikes for children involved with the Boys & Girls Club. Twenty bicycles were later delivered to elementary age kids who had met their reading goals in a literacy challenge.
Tattered Cover Bookstore
For the second year, Graland hosted an event at Tattered Cover Bookstore (2526 E. Colfax Ave.) to promote reading. Teachers were on hand to read aloud, lead crafts and encourage a love of reading. Special thanks to Andrea Crane, Wendy Demartini, Katie Stratman and Nan Remington for volunteering at this event.
“Outreach opportunities like these naturally deepen Graland’s connections with the broader Denver community,” says Kieffer. “When Graland can engage with and learn from other organizations while also sharing resources and expertise, our school community benefits from greater social consciousness and cultural diversity.”