The SAReads partners are pleased to announce that the annual SAReads Summer Book Drive collected more than 26,000 books for Bexar County children and teachers. The SAReads Book Bank distributes these books to schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the metro area. “Studies show that children having books in the home is a bigger determinant of reading proficiency than socioeconomic status. The SAReads Book Bank is working to eradicate book deserts in Bexar County,” said Pamela Toman, Executive Director of Literacy San Antonio, Inc.
An increasing number of books will also go directly into local classrooms via the SAReads Self-Select program.
The self-select program allows recipients to schedule a time at the book bank where they can personally choose books based on recipients’ ages, reading levels or personal interests. Since the program’s inception, more than 350 teachers have requested more than 55,000 books through the self-select program, benefitting more than 41,000 area students. “The San Antonio Public Library promotes learning and literacy in all forms, and we are proud to partner with SAReads on this important initiative,” said Ramiro Salazar, Director of the San Antonio Public Library. “A child is more likely to succeed in school and in life when families have access to books in their home.”
Members of the community donated books at more than 50 locations including all San Antonio Public Libraries, Firstmark Credit Union locations, YMCA branches and The Twig Book Shop. “Reading is a critical foundation to a better education for students of all ages,” said Wendy Bryant-Beswick, Chief Retail Officer for Firstmark Credit Union. “Partnering with SAReads for the Summer Book Drive allows our members and employees to play a role in improving the literacy rate in Bexar County.”
The SAReads Summer Book Drive was founded by Congressman Joaquín Castro during his tenure in the Texas House of Representatives. It has since expanded, adding partners and drop-off locations each year. “Every child, regardless of their background, should have access to books and the educational foundation they provide. I’m glad that this year’s SAReads book drive was a great success, and that thousands of San Antonio kids will have the opportunity to experience the joy of reading and learning. Thanks to our community’s generosity and SAReads’ hard work, our young people’s futures are brighter.”
The SAReads Book Bank collects books year-round. Organizations interested in hosting a book drive are encouraged to contact SAReads at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (210) 957-8790. Anyone interested in requesting books from the SAReads Book Bank should visit our website at literacysanantonio.com.