The impetus for my San Antonio Reading Party started with monthly pop-up book giveaways in Hemisfair Park June 2018. Since the downtown area appeals to a range of locals and tourists, it was the perfect place to begin. Nowadays the book pop-ups have grown beyond me as I have a steady source of book donations, leading to pop-ups in the Jefferson neighborhood for Halloween and the KIPP Commerce campus for Christmas. There are still more to come with pop-ups scheduled for Elmendorf Park splash pad in late spring.
I now approach The Awesome Foundation because this charitable work has gained momentum, leading to my vision for a San Antonio Summer Reading Party! A reading party is a 1-3 hour window in which books are at the forefront of SA families' experience. Upon entry, students will receive a passport with varying ways to read, such as "read to a parent," "read as fast/slow as you can," "read in a robot voice," etc. For each reading task, they receive a stamp. Once they've retrieved x-amount of stamps, they will receive a free book. To document, we'll ask kids to do a "chalk talk" to shout out their favorite books and display instant photos.
Reading has the reputation of being a passive, silent, and private activity. However, reading can be loud and exciting for all! We just need to take a different approach. Clearly, the need is great. Many San Antonio neighborhoods are “book deserts,” areas lacking access to books leading to lower literacy rates and higher dropout rates. Additionally, studies show that students are less likely to read during the summer months, leading to "summer brain drain," a form of learning loss that puts our students at a disadvantage when they enter the new academic year. This is an opportunity to address “brain drain” and combat “book deserts” in a small yet awesome way! Let’s create a lively experience that generates a buzz around books for our San Antonio families this summer!
Funded by San Antonio, TX (March 2019)