The second quarterly Literacy Partner Network Meeting gathered representatives from numerous Houston advocacy and non-profit groups to share their respective plans to combat Houston’s hot summers with cool programs. One of the most notable announcements was the unveiling of an interactive map demonstrating the Foundation’s impact across the city. Map users can toggle settings to determine the effects of programs such as ‘My Home Library’ and ‘Books Between Kids’, with the option to view data using a variety of demographic layers.
Partners highlighted the value of technology integration to encourage digital literacy initiatives; such as the implementation of a web-based system to track reading hours for participants in the Houston Public Libraries and Harris County Public Libraries’ summer reading programs. Furthermore, the meeting introduced two pilot applications promoting literacy and language acquisition, Cell-Ed and Learning Upgrade, as a part of the X-Prize international competition for the development of mobile applications to improve literacy skills among children and adults. Both applications are available on the App Store and Google Play.
Additionally, attendees representing Literacy Partner Network member organizations had the opportunity to present their various summer literacy initiatives. Featured summer programming encourages reading in the home through the distribution of age-appropriate books and the coordination of family-based literacy events. The distribution of books is not possible without the help of Scholastic Literacy Partners, who provide valuable resources to facilitate the acquisition and distribution of books for students across the city.