September is National Literacy Month! Half Price Books has been thrilled to partner with literacy nonprofits throughout the United States for years, and we particularly wanted to highlight these great partners throughout this special month. Be sure to check our social each Tuesday this month for a new post about literacy partners from our different regions. We’ll describe their missions, how COVID-19 has impacted their work and what you can do to help support them. As always, most of our stores will have coin boxes available at the registers for donations, which go directly to our local partners. If you’d prefer to donate straight to the agencies listed below, please just click on the DONATE NOW buttons below and you’ll be directed to their donation pages!
This week, we’re focusing on literacy partners from HPB’s Texas Region.
Aspire develops confident, capable individuals who value learning programs—from early childhood to adults pursuing careers—as a gateway to a better life. Aspire was formed from a recently completed merger between Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) and the Aberg Center for Literacy.
Aspire pivoted to online classes in order to continue to reach its students..
Literacy Council of Tyler
The mission of the Literacy Council of Tyler is to improve the lives of individuals and their families by eliminating illiteracy through educational services.
Difficulties created by this pandemic are high yet the need to learn remains. For many of our students, this need has been heightened by losing jobs, having to teach their children from home, and navigating our ever-changing environment. As we have done for 30 years, LCOT will continue to provide quality adult education, equipping East Texas adults for successful futures.
The Literacy Coalition of Central Texas
The Literacy Coalition improves the quality and increases the availability of literacy services for Central Texans. To function in society, achieve their goals and develop their potential, families, and individuals must:
- Understand medical instructions
- Use a computer
- Have a solid command of the English language
- Navigate the transit and workforce systems
- Help prepare their kids for school
San Marcos Education Foundation
The San Marcos Education Foundation will provide resources to enrich teaching, inspire learning, and maximize opportunities for all students in the San Marcos CISD.
As of this time, school has been delayed in San Marcos until September 8 — it will be online classes for the first 3-4 weeks and a decision will be made closer to this time as to when face-to-face classroom instruction will begin.
We had to cancel our annual fundraiser that was set to take place in mid-September. We decided not to fund grants in May like in the past, but we do plan to fund innovative teacher grants in the fall instead.
Houston Public Library Foundation
The Houston Public Library Foundation unites partners who value lifelong learning.
Like most every organization, we’ve had to move from in-person to virtual events. Our 4th Annual Beyond the Page Luncheon was originally scheduled for April. It was rescheduled to November 20 but is still virtual. Our 2nd Annual Houston Literary Awards will also be a virtual event and will be held on October 3. We have not had a community book sale since early March and have decided, for the safety of everyone, to cancel the sales for the remainder of the year. Likewise, we are unable to accept volunteers at this time although we’ve had many to ask if they could help us.
Friends of the Bryan + College Station Public Library System
The Friends of the Bryan + College Station Public Library System encourage all citizens to use the many and varied services offered by the library system. Friends is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization founded in 1955 to promote the library system.
The Friends promote and enrich community awareness of multi-platform and intriguing resources at all three libraries. Gifts from the Friends enrich each library’s collection. Finally, the Friends develop long-term library support.
The Friends of the Bryan + College Station Public Library System are actively supporting our public libraries. In these times of pandemic, The Friends were happy to buy the libraries hardware and software to move registration online for the big summer reading programs. Friends supported the reading program even though we were not able to have our biggest fundraiser, the book sale, this spring. But the librarians moved much of the program to online, so the Friends stepped up to help.
Corpus Christi Literacy Council
The mission of the Corpus Christi Literacy Council is to identify, develop, promote, coordinate, and deliver comprehensive programs and resources that will measurably reduce functional illiteracy in the Corpus Christi Bay Area.
CCLC shifted instruction from face-to-face to online learning. CCLC plans to resume face-to-face learning to those individuals that prefer face to face, following all CDC guidelines. We have purchased plexiglass and installed protectors between computer stations, hand sanitizers, Clorox® wipes, gloves, and masks. CCLC will also offer online learning utilizing Zoom and Google classrooms.
San Antonio Youth Literacy
Providing one-on-one support to children in San Antonio by empowering them with the skills needed to read to learn while fostering self-confidence and an enjoyment of reading.
We hope you learned more about the local literacy efforts of the HPB partners in your region and, in doing so, are moved to help in any way you can given the effects of COVID-19 on their operations. As always, our coinbox donations for the month of September will go directly to these organizations so be on the lookout for them at the registers of your local Half Price Books store. Click here for a complete list of HPB literacy partners across all regions.