Houston Elementary School Launches Book Lending Program

At Houston Elementary School, students showed up today to take advantage of a new book-lending program organized by teachers. The lending library takes place on stage in the school’s cafeteria.

Heather Augustine, a reading and language arts specialist at Houston Elementary School, started a Go Fund Me page to raise $600 to purchase books for the new program and ended up raising more than $1,000. Many of the funds were used to purchase Spanish books, which are especially needed. AISD’s UpClose Program also helped fund the program, choosing this project as its service project for the year.

At the end of the school year, each of the 820 students received one level-appropriate book from First Books.

More than 90 students dropped by today to browse the lending library, taking seats on the stage to flip through an assortment of books before choosing one to take home.

The principal hopes the program is a success and continues beyond this summer.

“Not all of our more than 800 students can attend our summer camps, so we hope this will help students retain their reading skills throughout the summer,” Principal Elia Diaz-Camarillo said. 

On Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., students are welcome to visit the library and check out books, allowing the readers new books to read throughout the summer. The first 200 students to attend receive a free bracelet.

Several teachers are volunteering to ensure students have access to books throughout the summer.

Next week, the school hopes to raise even more funds with a buy one, get one free Book Fair that runs June 16–19 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m., also held in the cafeteria.

This year the school also has a 21st Century grant for a summer engineering camp, serving between 75 and 100 students.

Despite being summer, the school is making sure students have access to fun learning activities all year long.