Thousands of students will soon start building their at-home library thanks to a new district partnership that will bring Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library “Book a Month” program to families in eight HISD ZIP codes.
“I am excited to get books for my son because he just started preschool, and we are all about education in our family,” HISD parent Fiona Deshotel said during the program’s kick-off event at Sherman Elementary School. “This is so important because it helps the community, as well as the kids that go to this school.”
In partnership with Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, Books Between Kids, PNC Bank, St. James Family Life Center, and the Waltrip Family Foundation, more than 5,000 children will be enrolled in the book-gifting program that will provide young Houstonians access to books by mailing a book directly to their home each month until they turn 5.
Families who either reside or attend a school in the following ZIP codes can sign up to participate in the program: 77009, 77011, 77012, 77017, 77020, 77022, 77029 and 77087. The first book each child will receive via mail will be Dolly Parton’s favorite—The Little Engine That Could.
“By delivering books to the homes of thousands of HISD families each month, this program will provide children with a strong foundation of reading and literacy at an early age,” HISD Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan said. “I want to thank each of our partners for their work to bring this tremendous program to our families.”
During the sign-up event at Sherman Elementary, families also received giveaway items including a tote bag, Learn At Home kit, learning tips, and a Sesame Street resource pack provided by PNC Grow Up Great, as well as age-appropriate books from Books Between Kids.
Last year, Commissioner Garcia launched the Book a Month program in Baytown as part of his goal to improve education in Precinct 2. By introducing the Book a Month program to more locations across Greater Houston, his hope is that more parents will prioritize reading to their kids to help them develop a lifelong love of reading.
“My precinct has amongst the lowest education attainment rates in Harris County and I want to change that, which is why it was important for me to bring this program to Precinct 2 families and their children,” Commissioner Garcia said. “Studies show the first five years of life are most crucial to a child’s development, and from my own experience growing up, I know that establishing a lifetime love of reading helps in more ways than anyone can imagine.”
Families who were unable to attend the drive-through sign-up event can register for the program by visiting www.booksbetweenkids.org/bookamonth/ or calling 832-831-1402 ext. 806.