SA Reads summer book drive helps ease financial burden for teachers

Teachers pull from book bank to build classroom libraries

SAN ANTONIO - Every year, as kids prepare to start a new school year, many of their teachers are starting a new chapter of their own and it can begin with a book.

After years of teaching fifth grade at Spicewood Park Elementary, Teresa Segovia switched grade levels, forcing her to quickly rebuild a new first-grade classroom library from scratch.

"SA Reads provided that resource for me where I could come in and pick up 100 to 150 books at a time. Without SA reads I wouldn't have been able to create my library within two or three days," Segovia said. 

Like Segovia, many teachers find themselves paying hundreds of dollars out of pocket to fund their classroom. For the last seven years, SA reads has helped ease that burden for the teachers of Southwest independent school district by collecting book donations all across San Antonio.

 "The book drive in the summertime really helps us to get those books in the hands of teachers right before school starts. That's when we know that teachers really need them the most," said SA Reads program coordinator Shakyra Hass.

The book drive runs until Aug. 18. Anyone can drop off new or gently used books to any of the 60 donation pins across San Antonio. Those bins can be found at YMCAs, San Antonio public libraries, Whole Foods, Firstmark Credit Union branches or the Twig or Dead Tree bookstores.

According to Haas, the book bank has a specific need for children, teen and Spanish books.

Diana Creyes teaches bilingual students at Spicewood Park elementary, who she says often lack learning resources at home.

 "We know that sometimes it’s hard for them to even provide food and shelter and clothing so for sure buying books is not going to be something that most parents do, especially with bilingual kids. So by having these books available to us or in the classroom the kids are able to take them home and have them accessible for them."

Creyes said adding classic books to her library like "Diary of  Wimpy Kid", "Curious George" and "Harry Potter" can spark a student's interest and change the way they learn.             

"It's so amazing to see a kid and you know they see that title and they see that book and they go oh my god yes this is a must," Creyes said.

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