‘Chicken Soup’ books to feed students’ reading appetite

Students at Poe ES pose with Principal Jeff Amerson and their new books.

Students at Poe ES pose with Principal Jeff Amerson and their new books.

A new partnership between the Boniuk Foundation and Chicken Soup for the Soul is helping students in HISD and across Harris County to develop more cultural awareness while simultaneously building their literacy skills.

The partnership kicked off on May 14 at Poe Elementary School, where a group of students gathered to open boxes of books that were being delivered to the libraries of every school in Harris County.

“At a time when bullying, school violence, and other similar challenges are pressing issues, this initiative provides vital literacy resources to inspire both young people and adults to embrace diversity, reject stereotypes, make good choices, and build more inclusive communities,” said Liz Philippi, manager of HISD Library Services.

As part of the new initiative, the Boniuk Foundation is donating Chicken Soup for the Soul books to all primary, middle, and high schools in Harris County, and has also covered half of the cost for Harris County families to subscribe to Chicken Soup for the Soul’s online library, which contains thousands of stories from the bestselling books published over the past 20-plus years by Chicken Soup for the Soul.

“We are excited to partner with Houston ISD and Chicken Soup for the Soul to ensure all students have access to information that covers important issues for our youth today, including tolerance, compassion, and making good choices,” said Dr. Milton Boniuk. “Our mission at the Boniuk Foundation is to promote tolerance, respect, and compassion throughout society. We believe the focus on these principles will help support anti-bullying programs in schools.”

An additional component to the initiative is a CBS Saturday morning family TV show that will air nationwide starting Oct. 3, 2015, and run for 52 weeks on CBS.

“We have always recognized the value of storytelling to impart good values and open readers’ minds to new ideas, “said Bill Rouhana, CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul. “The Boniuk Foundation’s donation of Chicken Soup for the Soul books to HISD and other Harris County students, parents, and teachers provides an important tool to promote tolerance and start conversations about these important issues.”

For more information on the initiative, please visit the Chicken Soup for the Soul website and click on the Boniuk link.