News & Events
News & Events

Your one-stop-shop for the latest news & information about what's happening at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.  Click the pictures below to read more and register for events.

Taft Literacy Program

This year the Taft literacy team of Mary Adams, Nina Urban-Hettich and Lena Schwarz have taken the funds donated to the 2021 Christmas Card program and spread them as far as possible to reach every student at Taft Elementary with all students in our four adopted class’s each receiving a monthly book and all Taft students receiving at least one book this year.  Books have also been purchased for a teacher library, the student library and the new book vending machine.  Thank you to this team for their huge hearts for literacy and their tenacious creativity in finding books to reach as many children as possible.

The new Heidi Johns library and maker space at Taft is in the process of being assembled! The room is currently full of boxes and the school has asked for help in turning this into the library. The first work days to unpack the boxes and to start to put together the library will be June 29 and 30 anytime between 8:00 and and 2:30 pm.  If you are able to to work anytime in this two day period please let Sue Matz know at

Below is a full recap of the Literacy Program and how you can support the work they are doing:

2021/22 RECAP


  • 1214 books purchased for Taft Elementary School.
  • More than 200 PK-6th grade students supported with 938 books throughout the school year.
  • Another 276 books purchased to lay the foundation for new literacy supports launching at Taft Elementary early in the 2022-23 school year: student library, book vending machine, and teacher library. Student library will be named in honor of Pastor Heidi Johns.


  • Thanks to the very generous “Christmas Card” donations by GSLC congregation in December 2021, GSLC’s Scholastic book program expanded into a much more comprehensive “Taft Elementary Literacy” program.
  • The elements of the “Taft Literacy Program” in 2021/22 were:
  • Scholastic book program for 2nd and 3rd Grade continued throughout the school year with a total of 528 books delivered. Each student was able to select 8 books this year.
  • For the first time, the Scholastic book program was also offered for Pre-K, KG, 1st Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade and 6th Grade students.  300 books, that they selected, were delivered to these students.
  • Support of the “Read Across America” Spring reading challenge across all elementary school grades.  80 books were gifted to the winning classrooms. In addition, the Taft Elementary Team organized three “book celebration parties” for all the winning classrooms which included book readings, bookmark-making, and special treats themed with the books they received (pizza, chocolate, and ice cream).
  • A “Student Library” has been initiated for Taft Elementary students. At the beginning of the new school year, and supporting a long-running teacher & staff goal, Taft Elementary School will finally get its very own student library.  The school has been collecting books for several years and GSLC has also purchased a set of books for the library.   Library book shelves have been ordered with funds bequeathed to GSLC, with bequeathing families’ approval.   The best library management system is being identified, and the goal is to have the student library up and running by the first day of the new school year in August 2022.  This library will be named in honor of Pastor Heidi Johns and dedicated to her early in the school year.
  • A “Teacher Library” has been started for the Taft Elementary teachers.  Teachers will use the library to borrow books for their classroom vs. needing to always purchase books (with their personal money).  GSLC purchased the first set of books.  The bookshelves were donated by “Legacies Upscale Resale” in Hyde Park. The library will be in place by the beginning of the new school year.
  • Taft will install a “Book Vending Machine” in time for the 2022-23 school year.  Students will be allowed to get books from it through incentives such as academic accomplishments, good attendance & behavior, etc.  GSLC purchased 203 books to help launch the machine.

How you can support Taft Elementary Literacy in 2022/23:

Monetary support will allow GSLC to continue the Scholastic book program for as many students as possible.  It will also enable GSLC to further build and expand the Taft Elementary teacher and student libraries.  When you give to the Heidi Handup box outside the sanctuary, you support literacy.  Here is what your gifts will buy:

  • $5.25 will buy 1 Scholastic book
  • $13.00 will buy 1 library book
  • $100 will buy 19 Scholastic books or 7 library books
  • $500 will buy 95 Scholastic books or 38 library books

Literacy volunteers are also needed for the Taft Elementary Literacy Ministry:

  • Tutor students (continue this strong contribution to Taft student learning that’s been underway for many years)
  • Read to students in the Heidi Johns Library at Taft Elementary
  • Listen to students as they read in the Heidi Johns Library at Taft Elementary
  • Help staff the library on student check-out days

For questions or information on how to get involved, contact Sue Matz at



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