CapEd CU’s ‘Read to Rise’ Program Sends Elementary Students’ Summer Reading to Atmospheric Heights


You could say Meridian, Idaho-based CapEd Credit Union reaches for the sky when it comes to its community involvement these days, and for good reason. As sponsor of the “Read to Rise” reading program, CapEd is honoring its educational roots. Its field of membership includes a legacy of educators that place high value on reading.

“The program ties into CapEd’s commitment to education, specifically strengthening young learners through the summer months,” said CapEd CU’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, Todd Christensen.

The reading program is in its third year and continues to grow with 22 elementary schools participating. In the first year, three schools participated. The second year saw an increase with seven schools. Individual students are boosting their level of participation, too.

“Last year, the participating schools collectively read over 200,000 minutes,” Christensen said. “We expect even greater numbers this year thanks to a new tracking app that involves parent participation in the tracking process.”

Christensen shared some of the benefits of participating in the program. “Research shows the stronger the reading ability, the greater the opportunity individuals have throughout life. A strong reading ability also helps unleash creativity and emboldens imagination,” he explained. “The balloon rising imagery also helps students visualize the power of reading.”

Elementary students from across Southwest Idaho track their reading during the summer. The five schools that top the reading charts win a visit by CapEd’s Read to Rise hot air balloon, where they get to learn the mechanics behind its operation and watch it soar.

But that’s not the only time kids can enjoy CapEd’s Read to Rise hot air balloon – the balloon also is put to use at a separate community event, the annual Spirit of Boise Balloon Classic. As presenting sponsor, CapEd will announce this year’s Read to Rise winning schools at the event on Aug. 31, while helping to bring a free, exciting family event to the community when more than 40 balloons and their pilots take to the skies for an elegant and colorful display at Boise’s Ann Morrison Park.

The event runs Aug. 29 through Sept. 2, and kicks off with CapEd Kids’ Day featuring free tethered balloon rides and a variety of activities for children starting at 7 a.m. Popular activities scheduled throughout the event include morning flights and a glow-in-the-dark night display at Nite Glow on Friday evening starting at 6 p.m.

For a full event schedule and more information, please visit the Spirit of Boise website.

Posted in Community Impact.