Since it was founded in 2008, GJIL has developed into a successful non-profit with a volunteer Executive Director, Lindsay Keller, and an exceptional Board of Directors.
Kristi Widdows Calfee is the current Board President of GJIL. She was raised in Grand Junction & co-founded GJIL with her sister in 2007. She currently lives in Castle Pines with her husband and two children. She is active in her community, volunteering at her children's school.
"After seeing first-hand how excited my young daughter was to read the new books that arrived in the mail from Imagination Library, I knew this program could have such a positive impact on children in the community where I was raised!"
Emily is a psychology student at Colorado Mesa University with a minor in sociology. She was born and raised in Grand Junction. Her favorite book series is Harry Potter, which her dad started reading to her as a child.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without all the reading I did as a child. Learning to love books and reading from a young age prepared me for school and life, in general, in a way that nothing else could. I am lucky to have the opportunity to help children develop their bright futures through the joy of reading."
Christie is a program director for Hilltop Community Resources and has worked in social services for 16 years. She grew up in Grand Junction and moved back in 2007. She is married with two children: a high schooler and a young one enrolled in GJIL.
"In my years of experience, I have learned how important early literacy is for children. I also know how difficult it can be to think about reading and have books around when so many other things are going on. This program reduces barriers to having books in the home and does so in a fun way. It gives both the child and the parents something to look forward to and do together. I am so happy to help bring this program to so many families."
Diane has a background in non-profit management and education. She has lived in the Grand Valley for 25 years and has three grown children. In her spare time she likes to read, hike, road bike and play games.
"Reading has so many physical and mental health benefits ranging from brain growth and development to reducing stress. Fostering a love of reading at an early age sets the stage for a life filled with learning, adventure, exploration, discovery, increased creativity and imaginative power! I love being a part of an organization that puts books in the hands of young children and their families!"
Tricia is a GJIL Co-Founder and Board Member of GJIL. She was raised in Grand Junction and founded GJIL with her sister in 2007. She currently lives in Fort Collins, CO with her husband, kids and a dog named Max. She is an active volunteer in her community and enjoys spending time playing tennis, skiing or just enjoying the outdoors.
"After having my own children, I realized my passion for giving EVERY child the opportunity to succeed, regardless of their circumstance. I love that Imagination Library is a proactive approach that has the potential to change the trajectory of a child's life."
Lisa is the Operations Supervisor for Alpine Bank. She was born and raised in Grand Junction. She shares a daughter and twin boys with her husband Dustin. Lisa is active in the community volunteering with Kids Aid, United Way, and many more local non-profits. When she finds free time, she enjoys playing outside in the mountains or spending time at Lake Powell.
"Seeing the excitement on my kid’s faces when they received their Imagination Library books in the mail was priceless. For me, it is so much more than one book a month; it is about bonding and time shared together that creates such a meaningful experience. I am honored to be a part of that excitement for other children in our community."
Holly is a service coordinator with the Grand Junction Housing Authority and has been active in the Grand Junction community since 2007. She is a member of the Horizon Sunrise Rotary Satellite and loves spending time in the mountains hiking, running and fly fishing with her husband and two dogs.
"Learning is a lifelong process and being able to provide the gift of reading to kids at a young age is empowering and sets them up for success in school. I have spent my career working with at risk families and it brings me joy to be able to get books into the hands of children in our community that do not have the resources.”