Innovative Tool to Address the Book Gap to be Launched

Research has evidenced time and time again that if children have access to books in their home and choice in the books they read, then they will read more often and achieve at higher academic levels. Unfortunately, children living in middle- to upper-income families have an average of 12 age-appropriate books in their home as compared to only 1 book for every 300 low-income households. More than 80 percent of Houston-area public school children are considered "economically disadvantaged." Put simply, while books are essential tools for children to reach success, many parents in our city cannot afford to purchase them for their children.

My Home Library provides a solution to the book gap found in homes of economically disadvantaged children across Houston. Specifically, through the My Home Library website, children will be able to create a wish list of books for their very own home library, and members of the community will be able to sponsor a specific child's home library by making a tax-deductible donation. On January 17, in partnership with Marathon Oil Corporation, the Wade Smith Foundation and the Houston Super Bowl Host Committee, we will kick off the pilot of My Home Library at Browning Elementary School, a school in which more than 90 percent of the 600 children are eligible for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch program. Our goal is to provide a home library for every single child at the school.

My Home Library was developed last fall in partnership with Credera and a team of volunteer technologists from across the Houston community. We are very grateful to Phillips 66 for sponsoring the My Home Library application and to Marathon Oil Corporation employees for supporting the pilot of My Home Library at Browning Elementary School. If you would like to help kick-start our My Home Library project by making a tax-deductible donation, please click here.