LOUISVILLE, Ky. — I Would Rather Be Reading had to cancel its last day of summer school Thursday because its building was broken into. The Louisville non-profit's mission is to provide equitable access to literacy education to children with backgrounds of trauma through various programming, such as after school programs and summer camps.

What You Need To Know

  • Louisville non-profit was burglarized and had to cancel its last day of summer school Thursday due to the incident

  • Founder of "I Would Rather Be Reading" said two rocks were thrown through the front door

  • Five laptops and a flat screen TV were stolen

  • A GoFundMe campaign has been set-up to help out

“Disheartening, you know, you kind of get that sick feeling in your stomach,” said Ashley Dearinger, founder of I Would Rather Be Reading (IWRBR), about how it felt when she got an email around 7 a.m. Thursday morning about the break-in. 

“I got an email from Ryan Miranda [with Miranda Construction] who has donated the space to us, telling us that he had received a report that our building was broken into and just to be safe, and he would be over here to make sure things were OK,” Dearinger explained. She said she was in another country on Thursday with her family on vacation at the time.

“Whoever did this, it was just kind of a grab and go. They took any large technology that they could get their hands on and [went] out the door,” Dearinger said.

Dearinger said two rocks were thrown at the entrance door, but she has no clue who did it because IWRBR only recently moved into their donated building, so no cameras were installed

“We’re still in the process of getting a sign up and getting a security system installed,” Dearinger said. In fact, the security system was already scheduled to be installed on Friday. Dearinger said one of IWRBR’s board members, who owns MAPS Security in Louisville, donated the system.

The perpetrator stole five laptops. Two of them were located at the front desk, and the other three laptops were stolen from employee offices, including Dearinger’s office. Plus, a large TV flat screen used for projections was also taken.

“The computers are one thing, but I feel like the people who did this stole a very special moment from our kids,” Dearinger said.

That special moment was the last day of summer school through JCPS’ Backpack League at IWRBR.

“Yesterday was just like, it’s going to be a great time to celebrate how much growth our kids made. How much fun they had in the summer, being able to be together again for the first time," Dearinger said. "To wake up to an email saying that the celebration of our students had to be canceled because someone threw rocks through our building, it just kind of gave you that sick feeling."

The total amount of technology stolen adds up to about $3,500.

“$3,500 might not seem like a lot of money, but it is to us because our total budget is right around $100,000, and we serve around 100 students and we have three programs running,” Dearinger said.

Despite the setback, IWRBR’s plan is to move forward.

“We’ll just keep moving along. Hopefully, we can get the resources replaced, and, yeah we’ll be serving kids again soon,” Dearinger said.

IWRBR plans to donate care packages to those students who missed their last day of summer school to celebrate their successes.

If you’re interested to help I Would Rather Be Reading replace what was stolen and pay to fix the damage caused, a GoFundMe account has been set-up to support the non-profit. You can donate here