RANCHO MIRAGE —A local nonprofit, Read With Me, has received donations totaling $50,000 from Ken Melkus, principal of the Melkus Family Foundation of Nashville, Tenn.

Read With Me is a nonprofit organization that evolved back in 2004 when founders Roberta and Clay Klein learned of underprivileged children from the East Valley facing a future with poor reading skills.  The Kleins knew that if a child is not reading by the third grade, he or she will more than likely not finish high school. An idea was born.

“Why not provide transportation for retirees to go to East Valley schools and tutor those children who desperately needed help with English, grammar, pronunciation and reading skills,” said Founder and President Roberta Klein.  “It worked like a charm.  Now, more than 700 Read With Me volunteers are sent weekly to 13 schools in the Coachella Valley as far as 30 miles away. The barriers to success are poverty and language skills.”

Moving into the new fiscal year, Read With Me found itself in need of help with budget goals to sustain its volunteer education services, programs and transportation.  Mr. Melkus, who has a home at the exclusive Big Horn Golf Club in Palm Desert, offered to assist with the 2018-19 fiscal goals by donating $30,000 from his Foundation.

When he learned about the organization’s goal to add another school, Mr. Melkus funded the necessary $20,000.  He was excited to hear of ten Read With Me volunteers who reside at Big Horn Golf Club and who volunteer at five schools.   In appreciation for their community volunteer service to Read With Me, Mr. Melkus dedicated his donation on their behalf.

“Clay and myself, along with all the volunteers and staff, can’t thank Mr. Melkus enough for his generous contribution to Read With Me,” said Roberta Klein.  “Donations like his help us sustain our volunteer program goals which in turn enhances the educational goals of many underprivileged young people who go to local schools in the Coachella Valley.”

For more information please contact Read with Me administrator Sherri De Boer at readwithmesd@gmail.com or call760-799-3218.