kids enjoying books from the PAKRAT program


LEAF is participating in USA Today's community improvement contest.  A Community Thrives is a new approach to social impact programs that was developed through a collaboration across the entire USA TODAY NETWORK. While most initiatives designate funds or give support to great charities, we’re going to instead fund and support great ideas. The volunteering begins with you pitching your creative solutions to solving our communities’ most critical needs.

You can support the PAKRAT program by voting daily through May 12th, 2017.  Projects will be judged and grants will be awarded.  A grant would help us provide books and cover the costs of running a summer PAKRAT bus to all elementary attendance areas in our 240 square mile district. 


Since 2011, LEAF has been supporting the Partners And Kids Reading A-lot Together (PAKRAT) program in our District 742 elementary schools. PAKRAT provides books to all preschool through grade 3 students in District 742. PAKRAT has been funded with LEAF grants as well as generous grants given to LEAF from the Bernick’s Foundation (2012), The Morgan Family Foundation (2013) and the Otto Bremer Foundation (2014). As part of the program, students take a book home to read with their parent/partner each evening and then return the book, along with a brief worksheet about the book to their classroom teacher the next day. The program has been a great success, with our spring 2015 survey indicating:

  • 80% of the students report that PAKRAT has made them a better reader
  • 94% of the parents indicate they wanted the program to continue.
  • 94% of the teachers indicate they feel PAKRAT has benefitted the literacy development of their students, and
  • 95% of the teachers want the PAKRAT program to continue

These results are similar to previous years’ survey results and indicate a strong support for the PAKRAT Program.

kids choosing books on the PAKRAT busExpansion of PAKRAT to the Summer Break
In 2013, under the leadership of Sara Martini and Beth Lovdahl and with grants from LEAF, the PAKRAT program was expanded to a Summer Roll and Read Program for the Talahi Elementary attendance area. Each week, the Roll & Read school bus made stops throughout the Talahi attendance area, drawing students from virtually every elementary school in District 742! In 2014, the Otto Bremer Foundation grant helped support the Summer Roll & Read PAKRAT program with additional books.

finding books on the PAKRAT busSt. Cloud Rotary Joins the Effort in 2015!
Based on Richard Allington’s research which indicates that up to 85% of the achievement gap can be attributed to the “summer slide” when many students have little access to quality reading materials, the Roll and Read program provides all students access to these quality reading materials on a weekly basis throughout the summer. The pilot program in the Talahi attendance area was a great success and in 2015 with the help of a $15,000 gift from the St. Cloud Rotary Club, an additional $10,000 grant from LEAF and support from District 742, the Summer PAKRAT Read and Roll Program was expanded into ALL District 742 Elementary School attendance areas runs 3 days per week! The Kiwanis Club of St. Cloud was added as a sponsor for the 2016 Summer Roll and Read program! CLICK THE RED BUTTON ABOVE TO VIEW THE SUMMER SCHEDULE AND FIND A PAKRAT BUS STOP NEAR YOU!

How Can YOU Help?
The Summer Rotary Club/LEAF/District 742 PAKRAT Roll & Read Program provides a “library on wheels” during the summer months and serves as an extension of the school year PAKRAT program. We are in need of additional quality books of all genres to keep students reading so as not to lose the gains made during the school year.

If you can help by donating quality books, please contact Sara Martini at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you would like to make a cash donation to this unique literacy program, you can send your check to: LEAF, PO Box 1132, St. Cloud, MN 56302 or to make a donation by credit card click on the button below.


Make a difference!  Contribute to PAKRAT!

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