Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro and his wife, Maris, are holding a book drive at Minute Maid Park this weekend to benefit HISD students. The couple runs Castro’s Kids, which encourages children to embrace literacy.
School’s out for the summer, and that means no more pencils and no more books. But wait—there are books. For the second year in a row, Half Price Books has donated 5,000 books to students at the Wharton K–8 Academy so they can take part in the district’s Millionaire Club.
The Millionaire Club is a coordinated effort between HISD’s Library Services and Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment departments to keep kids reading over the summer break in order to combat the “summer slide,” or the loss of academic skills many students experience after three months of inactivity. If a student reads and records five books on a log, then they become a member of the club and are eligible for recognition and prizes when they return to school in the fall.
He may be a catcher for the Houston Astros, but Jason Castro is pitching in to help HISD with its comprehensive literacy efforts. Castro and his wife, Maris, have created a new literacy initiative called Castro’s Kids which will be providing funds, books and incentives to supplement HISD’s Name that Book competition and the district’s successful Millionaire Club Summer Reading Program.
“Maris and I couldn’t be more dedicated and excited to launch Castro’s Kids,” said Castro during HISD’s Name that Book Fair event on May 11, 2013 at the Bellaire Barnes and Noble. “We attribute not only meeting each other, but many of the opportunities we have been given throughout our lives, to education. By promoting literacy in the Houston school districts, we hope to make an impact in the area that we are proud to call our home.”