SCJ Alliance, a group of Thurston County engineers, planners, and landscape architects, was recently presented with the South Sound Reading Foundation’s first Literacy Champion Award.

“The award recognizes a business partner that has gone above and beyond to advance children’s literacy in our community,” said Jennifer Williamson Forster, the foundation’s executive director.

Now more than 80 employees strong, SCJ started in Thurston County 12 years ago with just a handful of people.

“Why are a bunch of engineers – known more for the love of math and science than English or the arts – so supportive of the South Sound Reading Foundation? Readers are thinkers: imaginative knowledge-seekers and critical problem-solvers,” said SCJ Senior Principal Jean Carr. “It is our honor to support the foundation and its mission of making sure every child has the tools they need to read and succeed.”

The South Sound Reading Foundation wants to make sure that every child is read with or is reading at least 20 minutes every day.  “Reading promotes the healthy brain development, family bonding, and school readiness all children need to succeed,” the foundation’s website states.