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May 2, 2017

Seattle reading partner receives Governor's Volunteer Service Award

Each year, Serve Washington accepts nominations for the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards, which recognize individuals, volunteer groups, and families for their volunteer efforts. The awards honor some of Washington’s most dedicated individuals and groups for their commitment to volunteerism as the foundation for caring communities. Reading Partners Seattle is lucky to have many such talented and dedicated volunteers.

The site coordinator at Madrona Elementary, Caitlin Courshon, saw outstanding volunteerism in Natalie Hartkopf, so Caitlin reached out to Reading Partners Seattle’s program director Cassy Charyn with the idea to nominate Natalie for this award.

Natalie has become an invaluable member  of the Reading Partners community at Madrona K-8. As a weekly volunteer, she has built a strong relationship with a student who has experienced significant trauma and often needs extra socio-emotional support.  Natalie is unwilling to be deterred by setbacks or difficult days, and consistently takes a proactive approach to supporting her student, often reaching out for more resources and ideas. She continuously contributes additional time, effort, and energy, going above and beyond. As a result, her student has built self-confidence and shows a new willingness to tackle difficult tasks, leading to academic growth.

Furthermore, Natalie generously donated a significant number of brand new high-interest books  to the reading center, expanding her impact to the Madrona K-8 community. The entire Reading Partners Seattle team is grateful for Natalie’s extraordinary service in support of her student and Reading Partners.

Natalie and other recipients of the Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards were honored at the Executive Mansion in Olympia on April 11, 2017, where First Lady Trudy Inslee presented the awards. Later that day, the celebration continued during a special pre-game recognition by Serve Washington and the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.

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