The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

A Book (Make It Two!) for Every Child

Picture1My 6-year-old son is a voracious reader. He has shelves and shelves of books in his room, and he so looks forward to library day at school. His school book fair is coming up, and he’s already talking about which books he wants to buy. Thankfully, we are fortunate enough that he can make a purchase and bring home a brand new book or two. But for many kids, this is not the case.

That’s why, as part of this year’s CUPA-HR annual conference (held in San Antonio in late September), we chose to focus our charitable efforts on providing books to children in need. Partnering with Fidelity Investments and Reading Is Fundamental, we were able to make a donation of 1,200 books to Passmore Elementary School in San Antonio.

On October 22, the school held a reading rally for its 580 pre-K through fifth-grade students, 92 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged. At the end of the event, the students were surprised with the news that each could choose two books of their very own to take home. “The kids were so excited,” says Veronica Arteaga, the school’s principal. “Many of our students can’t afford to purchase books at our annual book fair. So for them to receive two books, for free, to be able to take home and share with their families — that gives them so much joy.”

In addition to the book donation, CUPA-HR annual conference attendees participated in a “Helping Hour,” where they wrote down the titles of their favorite children’s books to be used to create a word art banner to be displayed at Passmore Elementary.

Picture2“This year’s charitable project shows that CUPA-HR’s community outreach work makes a real difference — not just theoretically, but to actual kids in an actual school,” says CUPA-HR Chair-Elect Barbara Carroll. “Supporting education seems like exactly the right thing for CUPA-HR to do.”

The day after the book distribution at Passmore, Arteaga ran into a student in the hall who was eager to show her one of the books he had picked out. She noticed that, in just one evening, he had already read more than half of his new chapter book. “We stress to our students every day the importance of reading,” says Arteaga. “They really take it to heart, and I am so thankful that through the generosity of CUPA-HR and Fidelity Investments, each and every one now has two new books to explore.”