The Reading Rocks Project


Welcome to ArtReach Project #16
The Reading Rocks Project

Created by Gateway Mall and The ArtReach Project, Reading Rocks was a sponsored community arts fundraising project for Community Action, a support foundation for Head Start. This project is designed to bring awareness to the importance of childhood literacy.

In this project, ten local artists transformed ten ordinary rocking chairs by painting them according to inspiration from their favorite children's book themes.

The artists and their books are:

  1. Karissa Bettendorf: Little Red Riding Hood
  2. Natalie Schwarting: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  3. Jevon Woods: I Love My Hair! by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley
  4. Ramona Fink: Color Dance by Ann Jonas
  5. Jean Stryker: "Imagination" based off of a multitude of stories
  6. David Nielsen: Bony Legs by Joanna Cole
  7. Jenna Bland: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin
  8. David M. Tarin: Slippery Fish in Hawai'i by Charlotte Diamond
  9. Richard Burton: The Back of the North Wind by George McDonald
  10. Julie Ralston: The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Inspired by:
Community Action Head Start

The goal is to raise awareness and provide fundraising support for Community Action's Headstart program which is an early childhood literacy program.


A total of $2500 was raised through the chair auction for Community Action.

  • More than a whopping 25,000 people were able to view the chairs while on display at Gateway Mall.
  • Approximately 80 people attended the Friday evening private reception to celebrate the completion of the chairs.
  • Over 60 Head Start students attended Saturday morning's Reading Rocks event
    • With parents, family and friends there was an estimated attendance of 90 – 110 total
  • Over 140 registered bidders participated in the live silent auction.
  • Each chair was bid on and claimed, many for $250 or more.