“Live Like Coco” and “Santa Cruz Playground Project” Team Up to Celebrate Reading
The Live Like Coco Foundation, a Santa Cruz-based non-profit dedicated to programs that help children grow up healthy and pursue their dreams, has partnered with the Santa Cruz Playground Project to launch a series of reading-focused fundraisers benefitting Leo’s Haven, the county’s first inclusive playground for children of all abilities.
Called Reading Flash Mobs, these fun events encourage families to come together to read in public. Bookshop Santa Cruz was the financial sponsor of the first event.
In total, there will be five separate events held in the county through the spring, ending with the final event at Pinto Lake County Park on April 22 at the Live Like Coco Foundation’s Spring Fun Run. Each event is being sponsored by a different business in our community.
“We chose Valentine’s Day to launch this fundraising series to really capture the idea that these are events are about love — a love for reading, a love for spending time with friends and family and a love for our community,” says Kate Pavao, executive director of the Live Like Coco Foundation. “We designed these fundraisers so that kids could help their community without selling anything or asking their families for donations. We wanted to put the emphasis on participating, to say that when it comes to service, showing up is what matters most.”
Each event will include art activities as well as reading time. Kids will each get a special passport when they show up to a Reading Flash Mob. By participating in three or more events, they can earn a free book from the Live Like Coco Foundation. They can also enter into a drawing to win a $100 Bookshop Santa Cruz gift certificate for their school library, which will be given out at each flash mob.
Profits raised through the flash mobs will fund a series of literacy panels at Leo’s Haven, which is being planned for Chanticleer Park. Additional funds will be used to support Live Like Coco’s programs, which include Birthday Books From Coco, which donates thousands of books to kids on their birthdays through public schools in the Santa Cruz County area.
The LiveLikeCoco Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization established in 2016 in memory of 12-year-old Colette “Coco” Pavao Lazenby. For more information on the LiveLikeCoco Foundation and the reading flash mobs please visit www.livelikecoco.com.
The Santa Cruz Playground Project is fiscally sponsored by Shane’s Inspiration a 501(3)c non-profit organization dedicated to creating inclusive playgrounds and programs. For more information please visit santacruzplaygroundproject.org.
The Remaining Reading Flash Mob Schedule
Saturday March 18, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
225 Hammer Dr., Watsonville
Sponsor: by J.M. Construction
Saturday April 1, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Simpkins Family Swim Center
979 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz
Sponsor: Seacliff Construction & Design
Saturday April 22, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Pinto Lake County Park
757 Green Valley Road, Watsonville
Sponsor: Live Like Coco Foundation