Manor was once characterized as a sleepy town east of Austin, famed for its racetrack that once hosted a Grateful Dead concert. Now the city, just like Austin, is booming: in 2000 there were just 1,204 residents, but the projections forecast more than 10,300 people will live there by 2020.
Manor ISD is growing fast, too—their student enrollment has increased by more than ten percent over the past five years. Families forced out of Austin due to its increasing cost of living are enrolling their students in Manor schools, increasing the district’s need for more services and more books. More than 73.2% of their 8,807 students are utilizing free and reduced-price lunch, and 38% of students are English Language Learners. Meanwhile, Manor lacks one of the fundamental elements of a thriving community: a public library.
Without a community public library, Manor school leaders are getting creative. They’ve recently outfitted an old school bus as a summer library, complete with air conditioning, donated e-readers, and physical books that kids can check out and take home all summer long. The bus will make stops in different parts of Manor each week so that kids throughout the community will have access to books. The only thing they need now is, of course, books to fill the bus. That’s where we come in.
The Texas Book Festival is proud to be part of this summer reading mission. We’re already collecting donations from our office and staff, and we’re asking you—the Texas Book Festival community—to raid your bookshelves, as well! We’re accepting donations of gently used books for kindergarten through sixth grade readers on behalf of Manor ISD.
You can mail or drop of your book donations at: 610 Brazos Street, Austin, TX 78701. We’ll also be collecting donated books at our booth on Ney Day (Saturday, May 20) at the Elisabet Ney museum.
If you have questions about donating books, or would like to donate funds to Manor ISD’s new mobile library, email our Outreach Coordinator, Lea Bogner, here.
Thanks for helping us support the students of Manor ISD!