Texas teachers partner with nonprofit The Leaders Readers Network for Care Packages for Students
Written by Amanda Rogers, Marketing Team Member
The Texas-based nonprofit organization, The Leaders Readers Network (TLRN), formerly known as Give More HUGS, is dedicated to providing children with books and school supplies to ensure they are successful in school today and for their future. The nonprofit empowers students, teachers and schools to share a love for reading through their BookShare project. However, during these uncertain times, TLRN is taking its mission a step further with Care Packages for Students.
This project is funded by the IECA Foundation to support the TLRN team of teachers to provide brand new books, healthy snacks, a Flat Stanley of each teacher, and encouragement to students during these unprecedented times.
“It is important for us to come together to help pave a way for students to continue the learning. I am grateful we have supporters and partners who want to help ensure students have access to resources and tools to continue their academic learning,” said Chris McGilvery, volunteer executive director of TLRN. “Plus, we get to provide encouragement with the handwritten notes, and students need social emotional support as they go through this new journey.”
Each teacher involved in the project will receive bags to put care packages together, healthy snacks, a Flat Stanley and letter for to share with students, and three brand new books.
“Our network of teachers across Texas are ready to support students to continue the learning and reading during these unprecedented times,” McGilvery said. “Teachers will go to their students’ homes to provide care packages to support both academic and social emotional support.”
Teachers involved in the project are from Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Temple, Round Rock, and Canyon, Texas.
Dante Starks is a TLRN Teacher Ambassador involved in Care Packages for Students.
“My students live in a very low-socioeconomic area on the east side of Fort Worth and attend a school where literacy is extremely at a detriment. Many of them show up to school without the necessities, hungry, and not the best kept, yet they are still resilient,” Starks said. “I am excited and overwhelmed with joy because this project will provide each student with three books each and healthy snacks. Not only will my students get the opportunity to increase literacy throughout the summer by reading, but they will also have a healthy snack to eat while doing so.”
Shelley Lincoln said she is participating in the project as a TLRN Teacher Ambassador because she believes that her students need to know that reading is power. She also wants to recognize them for their achievements made during the school year, such as raising money to help students in two of the district’s lower income schools.
“Simply because school is over, we don’t stop reading and we don’t stop learning. I want my students to realize how impactful reading will be in their lives. It is not something we set aside for the summer. I pray the packages deliver a message to them about how much I care about them and what joy they brought to my life last year,” Lincoln said. “This year has been such an amazing experience for me and my students. I have watched them grow as leaders through each project we undertook. They went beyond themselves to work to complete each project and they gave their very best at every turn. They were well on their way to becoming amazing leaders when our world was turned upside down. They were thrown into a world of online distance learning with absolutely no idea how to proceed. I was so proud of them as the days turned into weeks, and they kept up with their work and made sure it was all turned in on time. I want to deliver these care packages so they know how proud of them I am.”
Sydney Rogers, 9, is the youngest Student Ambassador for TLRN, and recently finished her third grade year at Reeves-Hinger Elementary in Canyon, Texas. She is partnering with her third grade teacher, Paige Fisk, to prepare care packages for her class. Rogers and her family will prepare the care packages and deliver the bags to Fisk for delivery.
“I think going to online learning because of the coronavirus was hard on every student all across the country. It was hard on me, and I’m sure each student had different challenges,” Rogers said. “My class is a team, even when we were apart. I hope when they get their care package from Mrs. Fisk they see we are still a team, and we still care about them.”
Fisk first learned about TLRN when Rogers approached her school about a BookShare.
“I had the privilege of teaching a strong, kind, caring young lady this last very odd school year, and she introduced me to this amazing organization. I’m so thankful for Sydney and her drive to care and love others as much as she can,” Fisk said said. “I am also thankful to partner with her and show our classmates, our team, that we are still a team, and we will drive to be the best learners and readers we can be, even during this difficult time in our world. #readersgonnaread.”
Care Packages for Students is made possible because of donors and the IECA Foundation. The teachers and their students are grateful for the support of community members for making this project happen. If one is interested in empowering teachers and students to ensure they have access to support, please consider a donation today: http://www.givemorehugs.org/donate
The nonprofit The Leaders Readers Network mentors and trains students and teachers to implement projects like the BookShare to give students access to books and resources in underserved communities.
About The Leaders Readers Network
There are 31.4 million children who live in low-income families across the United States. Millions of children do not have access to quality and relevant books in their homes.The Leaders Readers Network, formerly known as Give More HUGS, is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that offers teachers and students a community to empower their leadership while making a difference. Each school year, it works with a team of teachers and students who implement vetted and impactful teacher and student created service projects to grow leaders and readers in underserved schools and communities. The network of teachers and students are one of the best representing a diverse and dedicated group of leaders who are working together to ensure children in their communities have access to brand new books, school supplies, and leadership development.