HISD is helping turn young readers into leaders, thanks to a partnership with KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL). The organization donated $10,000 to refresh the library inside the Gregory Lincoln Education Center, and Wednesday, Oct. 18, was the big unveiling.
The project has been in the works since April through the District’s Community Partnerships Department. What started as a small book donation turned into a transformation of the library that serves K-8 students in Houston’s historic Freedmen’s Town.
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony with representatives from HISD and KPMG, students got to see the new space with all of the new books.
“Our students really enjoy reading,” said HISD Magnet Coordinator Thomas Porter. “All of our students get time in the library, at least an hour a day, where they get to come in and check out books, to speak with our librarian, and have read alouds.”
Librarian Patience Agholar gathered the students in a restorative circle session where she passed around a microphone for students to answer prompted questions, including “Who is your favorite artist?” (Houston’s own Beyoncé was a popular choice) and “What does love mean to you?”
The answers were thoughtful and, turns out, had a bigger meaning. Joining the restorative circle was Author Liara Tamani who introduced her latest novel “What She Missed” that offers an invaluable lesson about self-love at a formative age. Every student got to take home a copy along with another book of their choice and freebies from KPMG.
“Readers are leaders, and it’s very important that we continue to push reading for our students so that they may grow as young leaders and into potential leaders of our community,” said Porter.
KPMG’s Family for Literacy is the firm’s Community Impact program with a mission to eradicate childhood illiteracy by putting new books into the hands of children in need and developing the next generation of young leaders through reading.