Mackenzie Krestul began Code Read in 2016 as a way to spread the message that literacy is one of the most important parts of education, that it is not just about the ability to read, but it is vital for communication and listening skills.
However, some do not have the same access to books and therefore literacy.
Mackenzie’s younger sister Madelyn Krestul, a freshman at Canyon High School, decided to pick up the torch from where Mackenzie left off and continue Code Read’s mission.
“The values that Mackenzie upholds, and the reason that she founded Code Read are all beliefs that I share with her just as much,” said Madelyn. “I wouldn’t want to put an end to that.”
Code Read is a nonprofit organization aimed to provide books to economically disadvantaged communities. Their mission is to bridge the gap in child literacy for students who struggle due to a lack of access to reading material.
“Just because a family or a school or community is low-income doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve to have that (literacy) and access to that through books,” said Madelyn.
Code Read has donated a total of more than 50,000 books since its creation. On May 19, Madelyn added to the number by donating 2,000 books to Mint Canyon Community School.
The money to provide the books was raised through grants and private donations.
All 2,000 books were personally picked out by Madelyn and her mother through Scholastic and First Book.
“I would say that we set this up for them in a way that not only are they getting books and being able to read them, but they’re excited about it, and they learn that reading is something that can change your life,” said Madelyn. “Even if it’s a fictional book, they’re always going to learn something from it or take something from it and it’ll be much more memorable than any TV show or movie might be.”
Each student at Mint Canyon Community School, as well as students through the school’s homeschool program, got to pick out four books, and received a Code Read bag, a bookmark and an invisible ink pen.
“It was really great,” said Madelyn. “I felt it was one of the most positive feedbacks we’ve ever received in terms of the kids just being so grateful and so enthusiastic about picking out (books) even if they maybe had to try something new in order to pick from what our selection was. They were all so willing and so excited.”
Madelyn has her heart set on expanding Code Read’s impact and is now campaigning for an all-electric bookmobile to put Code Read on wheels.
Those wishing to donate to Code Read can do so at bit.ly/3qqAycO.