The Pre-K students stood on their toes to reach the window. They peered through the glass trying to catch a glimpse. “There he is!” a child spoke above the whispers and giggles, “There’s my friend, Mr. Bob Shea!”
Sporting unicorn- and goat-horned hats made in preparation for Bob Shea and his book, Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, the children filed into the library to see Shea, one of the authors at Ortega Elementary that day.
On October 25, 2013, the Texas Book Festival’s (TBF) Reading Rock Stars outreach program implemented thirteen author visits to six Title I schools in Austin ISD and Del Valle ISD. Following each author presentation, every student was given a brand new, autographed book, purchased by the TBF. The Austin program gifted 3,300 books and provided each school with a set of books to enhance their library collection. Earlier this year, Reading Rock Stars traveled to the Rio Grande Valley, serving six schools and 4, 172 students in McAllen ISD, Mercedes ISD, and La Joya ISD.
Watch this video to meet our Reading Rock Stars kids and authors!
Give to Reading Rock Stars
Since the program’s inception in 2001, the TBF has donated 52,265 books to kids and provided hundreds of author visits, cultivating student engagement and excitement around reading, writing, and illustrating.
Many students receive their first book through the Reading Rock Stars program. “It’s great being invited to be a Reading Rock Stars author because I get to meet all these kids,” Shea commented after his presentation. “They just love the books and they get super excited. It’s a great opportunity to get some books into the hands of kids who need them.” As Baty kindergarten teacher Laura Dimmett explains, “Our students do not have many books at home, so for them to get a free hardback book is wonderful. To get to see the author/illustrator read the book aloud is priceless and something that they will remember for a long time to come!”
We reached 7,472 students in 2013.
Help us reach even more kids in 2014 by donating today!