DENVER — Reading has a powerful impact on our capacity to learn. That is why 7Everyday Hero Judy Pottle volunteers to help children read at the Stephen Knight Center for Early Education in Denver.
"I come in and work with the kids, teaching a lot of literacy skills," Pottle said.
As a retired teacher, Pottle knows that simply reading to a child at an early age profoundly improves their success in school and later in life. But oddly enough, not every early education center has a library.
That's why Pottle, after leaving the classroom, volunteered to create a library at the school.
"It's been bit, by bit, by bit," Pottle said.
Seven years later, the library at Stephen Knight is so successful it is now named after Pottle. It is officially the Ms. Judy Library.
"She is the one who initiated our library here and she has volunteered over seven years establishing our library and providing all of our children the opportunity to come to our library and choose books to have a great reading time with her," said Principal Sheila Deacon.
Before Pottle came along, there were only a handful of books at the school. Today, this dedicated space for a library is filled with more than 2,000 books that get a lot of use.
"I see 16 different classes on a rotating basis, so it gets busy in here," Pottle said.
"She loves books and she loves children," Deacon said.
"I get a lot of happiness and joy. Life gets pretty busy, but I tell my husband, 'I am so happy at school,'" Pottle said.
Pottle is ready to hand over the reins to someone new but the legacy she leaves behind will last a lifetime for hundreds of Denver children.
Mitch Jelniker anchors Denver7 in the mornings from 4:30 to 7 a.m. He also features a different 7Everyday Hero each week on Denver7. Follow Mitch on Facebook and Twitter. Nominate a 7Everyday Hero here.