The fifth annual SA Reads Summer Book Drive is kicking off this week with a mission to provide books to children who may not have access to them.
The book drive was originally started by Congressman Joaquín Castro in 2010, but is now run by Literacy San Antonio. Executive Director Pamela Toman said their goal is to collect as many books as possible.
“So many of our children just don’t have books in the home and it’s really meaningful when developing early literacy skills to have books around the house," Toman said. "Children's books are really important but we need middle school books, teenage books, and young adult books as well.”
From now until August 22, books can be dropped off at donation bins placed at each San Antonio library branch, Firstmark Credit Unions and the Twig Bookshop at the Pearl.
Toman said it’s critical for children to be proficient in reading by third grade.
“A lot of the curriculum after that depends on the ability to read it," Toman said. "They’re no longer being taught the phonemic awareness skills that they get in the early years of kindergarten, first grade, second grade and third grade.”
At first about one-third of the children the organization tutors at Harlandale and Southwest ISD’s were not able to pass the reading portion of the STAAR test.
Once collected, books are stored in the organization's book bank at the San Antonio Food Bank and are then donated to nonprofit organizations and schools by request.