HOUSTON — The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation donated 100,000 brand new children’s books to HISD this week.
The Foundation bought the books to help bridge the learning gap while schools and libraries are closed across the city due to the coronavirus.
The books were distributed to families of children in pre-K through eighth grades across 50 HISD schools as they picked up curriculum and instructions packets for distance learning.
“Empowering children with books in their home has been a key strategy of ours as we partner with school districts to improve academic achievement levels and foster a love of reading across our community,” said Dr. Julie Baker Finck, Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation President. “With schools and libraries closed, it is even more paramount that we equip families with the needed tools and resources to support their child’s learning at home.”
Roughly 75 percent of the 210,000 students in HISD are ‘economically disadvantaged’ and qualify for the National School Lunch Program, a strong indicator that books are a luxury that many of the families in our community cannot afford.
“These books are a monumental donation, not just in terms of the sheer numbers, but also in terms of the educational impact on our young scholars,” said HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan. “We are grateful to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, the Ladies for Literacy Guild, Phillips 66, and Scholastic for their incredible support to help us meet the needs of our children and families during these unprecedented, impactful times.”
Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, has also partnered with the Foundation on this effort by extending best-in-class pricing on books, waiving expedited shipping fees, and providing hundreds of additional free books to further the goal of empowering families and children to read and learn at home.
Phillips 66 and the Foundation’s Ladies for Literacy Guild helped purchase the books.
For more information on how to support this effort by making a tax-deductible donation, visit www.BushHoustonLiteracy.org/Donate or text “HTXReads” to 41444.