Whataguy visits SAISD Jumpstart students to promote reading

Roll into Reading aims to help kids expand home libraries

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Independent School District is gearing up for the school year and making it as exciting as possible for students.

The Roll Into Reading initiative is part of the SAISD Foundation Book Buddies program and together with the district’s transportation department and a partnership with Whataburger, it’s helping to keep kids interested in reading over the summer.

Since the start of Jumpstart on July 19, SAISD buses have loaded up with a variety of books for Pre-K through 5th-grade students. The purpose of Roll Into Reading is to promote a culture of literacy and imagination at home. The program began last summer during the pandemic. It was so successful that the district wanted to bring it back this summer.

“We hope that they just develop a love for reading. Our schools are working on that,” Judy Geelhoed, Executive Director of the SAISD Foundation said. “We want to work on that by making sure there (are) books at home that they can access whenever they want (and) create their own home libraries during the school year.”

The SAISD Foundation provides the books and fun bookmarks while the district’s transportation department is in charge of making the delivery to each Jumpstart campus. Whataburger adds its pop of orange that makes the book-drop-off even more exciting for students.

“They absolutely love it, and it’s such a joy to see the smiles on their face,” Hayward Smith said. Smith is an operating partner in training with Whataburger. “When they receive the books and get a high-five from Whataguy, they love it. It’s an absolute privilege to be a part of the community.”

Through the Book Buddies program, the SAISD Foundation will deliver an additional six books to every student in K through 5th grade to help expand children’s home libraries.

Upcoming book giveaways:

  • July 26: Highland Park, Hillcrest, Hirsch, Huppertz, Irving, Japhet, JT Brackenridge, Kelly, S. King, ML King
  • July 27 and 28: Madison, Margil, Miller, Mission, Neal, Pershing, Will Rogers, Schenk, Steele, Twain, Wilson
  • July 29 and 30: Bonham, Ogden, Smith, Storm, Washington, Woodlawn, Woodlawn hills, YWLA AC-Page

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About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.