Books Build Character kick off

Media Advisory

Books Build Character kick off

Who: More than 8,000 students strong! Every SAISD 2nd- and 7th-grader 

What: Debut of Books Build Character, an exciting new initiative whose goal is to provide all 54,000 District students with brand new books of their very own. Book distribution begins for all 2nd-and 7th-graders this week, including at Herff and Graebner elementary schools.

When: Wednesday, April 10

Where: Herff Elementary School, 996 S. Hackberry St., 8:45 a.m.
Students will converge in the library, where “freckle juice” will be served up and freckles will be painted on their faces in the spirit of the free book they will be receiving.

Graebner Elementary School, 530 Hoover St., 2:15 - 3 p.m.
School-issued “passports” in hand, students will rotate at four different stations in the library, including stations where they will have freckles painted on their faces and photos taken and will make bookmarks for their brand-new books.

Students at these select schools will be among the first SAISD 2nd- and
7th-graders afforded the opportunity to take home the magic that spills from the pages of a book – thanks to a new joint initiative of SAISD and the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel called Books Build Character.

The San Antonio Alliance raised $28,000 ($25,000 of that from the National Teachers Associates) for the premiere of what is intended to be a bountiful number of future giveaways. Purchasing more than 8,000 books for that price was made possible through First Book, an international non-profit organization that works with top publishers to offer deeply discounted prices so that children in need have access to a supply of high-quality books.

The featured campuses will be among those holding fun and creative events to distribute the books to students this week. They will receive the following to start or augment their home libraries:

● “Freckle Juice” by Judy Blume for 2nd-graders

● “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio for 7th-graders

For some children, this may be the very first brand-new book they have ever owned. Research shows that in America’s poorest neighborhoods the average number of books in the home is only one for every 300 children. Surveys reveal that cost is the No. 1 limiting factor.

Books by the numbers
While Books Build Character’s goal to provide all 54,000 SAISD students with a new book of their own may seem cost prohibitive, it’s actually more attainable than some may think. Through First Book discounts:

• $89,000 (compared to the retail price of $405,000) would cover the cost of one book for each SAISD student.

• $28,000 (compared to the retail price of $79,369) will provide one book for all 8,025 SAISD 2nd- and 7th-graders.

To date, First Book has provided more than 100 million books to children in need, increasing access to essential materials for educators and administrators.

Jump on the Books Build Character bandwagon!
Community support for Books Build Character is welcome, and a variety of levels of giving is available. For example, five new books can be purchased through a contribution of as little as $10, while a $13,000 donation would provide one book for all of SAISD’s 4,423 1st-graders.

For more information on how you can help this worthy cause, contact Shelley Potter, president of the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel, at (210) 225-7174.





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