top of page


Casey & Charley's Foundation for Dogs and Kids is a nonprofit private foundation whose mission is to advocate programs that provide children with language and arts enrichment, encourage literacy development, improve the lives of youth with special needs, help educate children from underserved communities, and support organizations that promote the physical health and well-being of dogs.


Maritza is cofounder and VP of the foundation, along with program director for Lectura Lounge. She's also the author of Groovy Girl, winner of the 2022 National Indie Excellence Award for AAPI fiction, and its sequel, Groovy Girl 2: Sabina Saved. She received her MFA in English and creative writing at Mills College, studied the complexities of human society at Cal (UC Berkeley) as an undergrad, and worked as a copy editor (a.k.a., grammar cop) for various tech-media companies in San Francisco. Dogs and books are her jam.

Ray is president and cofounder, with 20+ years of operations leadership experience, and certificates in nonprofit management, finance, and AI strategy. His degrees from Cal are in mechanical engineering (BS), and industrial engineering and operations research (MS), respectively. He’s passionate about youth enrichment activities, and he happens to be a certified dog trainer. He loves reading books about world history. 

Marco and Emilio are students in the Spanish DLI program in Park City. They enjoy reading adventure-fantasy-dystopian-thriller-type books, making music, ice skating, speed skating, skiing, video gaming, and Taekwondo. Marco swims and figure-skates for the PCHS teams, PC Swimming, and FSCPC; Mio plays soccer for PCSC. In their very spare time, they enjoy curling up and cuddling with our curly-cuddly emotional therapy dog, Oscar, who likes chewing on sticks and inducing wide smiles.


The seeds of Lectura Lounge are planted…


While Maritza was busy shuttling Marco and Emilio to and from their extracurriculars back in San Francisco, she had envisioned (wished for, really) a hangout close to school—someplace she and her boys could unwind and grab a snack; do homework and read (instead of in the back seat of their car before martial arts class); or just stretch their limbs before moving on to their next activity.


They tried Starbucks, they showed up at libraries—but they could never get themselves situated and comfortable. Libraries required noiselessness, and Starbucks’ hot beverages and high barstools weren’t exactly kid-friendly or conducive to rest and relaxation.


Fast-forward to Park City, 2021: During and after the pandemic, Maritza and Ray witnessed their neighbors isolating, including themselves. Although they, as a family, got creative at home—composing piano pieces, reading more books, writing novels, and expressing emotions via acrostic poetry—they yearned for connection with their community. Then, after unexpected job losses, which led to career redirections and redefinitions, Maritza proposed her plan to Ray:


Why don’t we open up a reading lounge in our neighborhood?


Compadres de Lectura, a program at Dolores Huerta Elementary—Marco and Emilio’s school in San Francisco—happened to be one activity that escaped them, due to the boys' music lessons and Hapkido class schedules. “Compadres de Lectura” means “Reading Buddies”: At the school’s library, volunteers read in their dominant language to students whose primary language is opposite theirs, after 20 minutes or so of mixing, mingling, and pizza in the teachers’ lounge, located next door to the library.


Photos of this weekly event in Dolores Huerta’s newsletter had Maritza longing for the opportunity to check out Compadres—which she finally did on her own during a Bay Area trip last year while visiting some of the school staff.


Maritza's assessment: Compadres de Lectura was MAGICAL. It was literacy, community, and multilingualism, all in one beautiful package.


The rest is “our-story”!


We invite you to stop by Lectura Lounge! Since its opening in mid-January 2024, it has been described by our community as cozy, fun, inviting, and...MAGICAL. 

bottom of page