Molina Foundation Book Grant in Denver
Dr. Faustino Bernadett’s love of books and dedication to literacy has resurfaced again! In July 2020, the Denver Public Schools Educational Technology & Library Services was awarded the Molina Foundation “Stories by the Truckload” book grant to provide books from Disney Publishing to Denver-area youth and families. More than 34,000 books were distributed to 30 schools, 27 community organizations and the Denver public library.
The Molina Foundation was formed back in 2004 by Dr. Faustino Bernadett and his wife Dr. Martha Molina Bernadett, M.D., MBA. She is the President and CEO, and he is Vice President and Treasurer, and together they lead this national nonprofit organization that aims to cut down on disparities in access to education and health.
Throughout its 16-year history, The Molina Foundation so far has worked with more than 2,500 organizations and schools, donating more than 7 million books, as well as hosting workshops and programs for educators and families. They collaborate with community-based organizations, preschool programs, clinics, churches, schools, family service organizations, and civic organizations that serve low-income and at-risk families.
“Stories by the Truckload” Book Grant
The DPS Educational Technology & Library Services expressed its profound gratitude for the “Stories by the Truckload” book grant by the Molina Foundation in an email that said, in part:
“Thank you so much. We all had an amazing experience and we are so very grateful for the opportunity!”
It took DPS 10 working days to sort and distribute the book grant, with between five and seven volunteers working per day. While a huge community volunteer turnout would have occurred in any other year, the facility wanted to keep the amount of people to a minimum due to COVID-19. The volunteers, primarily librarians, sorted books into categories of Baby/Toddler, K-2, 3-5, Middle School, and High School.
Any books that remained at the end of the two-week period were donated to Denver Public Library to distribute to their children and youth patrons.
The DPS team was working in a facility with a distribution truck, and just happened to be there during the facility’s slowest two weeks in the year. They graciously offered to deliver all of the book orders to schools so they could be passed out to kids in packets to start off the new school year. Other books went to community organizations, and a few thousand went to Denver Public Libraries for their book hand-outs at grab-and-go meal deliveries throughout town.
A laser scan thermometer was used to check everyone's temperature at check-in when they first walked in, everyone wore masks, some wore gloves, and a hand sanitizing station was set up at the entrance. All boxes used to fulfill book orders featured a taped sheet of paper that indicated when the box could be safely opened (after a 72-hour time frame). And the number of volunteers at one time was limited with no more than 10 people, all six feet apart.
These COVID-19 safety protocols were a critical part of this year’s book drive. This is something important to Dr. Faustino Bernadett, as he has dedicated himself over the last several months to coronavirus safety.
Some of the things Dr. Bernadett has been doing since the pandemic hit the U.S. include:
Dr. Bernadett and his wife contacted a local garment manufacturer to ask if they could manufacture masks – the first 10,000 of which he and his wife purchased.
With a goal to encourage mask wearing among youth, Dr. Bernadett reached out to teens and young adults to gather ideas on how to best influence young people to wear masks in public.
Ventilator Production: Dr. Bernadett advised, in a volunteer capacity, a company that produced pediatric ventilators that wanted to shift production to adult ventilators to meet demand.
He advised a large area health center on how to conduct pre-natal programs using home monitoring and reporting to minimize office visits and potential exposure to COVID-19.
Dr. Bernadett has advised the City of Long Beach, as well as the hospital and healthcare system in Long Beach, on capacity planning, including use of hotel and motel rooms and event space for purposes of quarantine, temporary housing for first responders, health workers, recovering patients and the homeless.
He and his wife helped the city to identify hotel rooms in the city that could be used for housing.
Dr. Bernadett and his wife donated to the National 4-H Council’s Fourward campaign to use toward COVID-19 impacted youth in areas where no broadband exists. They also donated 100,000 books.
Dr. Bernadett and his wife supplied computers and ensured broadband access to Santa Teresita Catholic School in Boyle Heights, a Catholic K-8 school.
To learn more about Dr. Bernadett’s efforts during COVID-19 and beyond, please visit https://www.bernadett.org/
To learn more about The Molina Foundation, visit the website, or check out more on the Denver Public Schools Educational Technology & Library Services by browsing their site.