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Generations are coming together for a common goal – to collect pocket change for brand new books for students at Title I elementary school. The Texas-based nonprofit organization, Give More HUGS (GMH), 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. The purpose of this project is to raise awareness for literacy and help ensure brand new books are provided to elementary students across Texas and beyond. To accomplish this, teacher and student ambassadors are participating in the Pennies for Literacy campaign.

“The unique aspect of Give More HUGS is that older students are working with and reading to younger students. Younger students not only enjoy receiving a new book, but also the time spent with an older student who took the time to read it,” said Chris McGilvery, executive director of Give More HUGS. “At the same time, older students are working on their reading skills and can serve as mentors to create a feeling of pride and accomplishment in serving their school and community.”

Once books are obtained, Give More HUGS works with student and teacher ambassadors to write inspirational messages inside each book to give to students. In many cases, upper grades will go into each kindergarten, first grade and second grade classrooms to read with each student and surprise them at the end with their own brand new books.

Sydney Rogers, 9, is the youngest student ambassador for Give More HUGS, but that has not stopped her from working towards serving her community. Rogers recently met with her assistant principal at Reeves-Hinger in Canyon, Texas, along with McGilvery. They spoke about the need for students to not only have access to books and school supplies, but also to work together. Sydney and Chris also shared information with the Student Government Association at West Texas A&M University about Pennies for Literacy.

“I like that Give More HUGS allows older kids, like me, to read to younger kids in the school. My goals are to make kids more open to learning, and to be there for them,” Rogers said. “I think kids would be happy to read if they get a new book with a nice note written in it. It would also show the younger kids that we are there for them.”

There are numerous students, schools and organizations actively participating in Pennies for Literacy. Those in Texas include:

Canyon, Texas

West Texas A&M University

American Chemical Society

Diversity Ambassadors

Student Government Association

The Prairie News

Dallas, Texas

Dallas ISD

David G. Burnet Elementary School

James Madison High School

New Tech High School

Fort Worth, Texas

Forth Worth ISD

Luella Merrett Elementary

SS Dillow Elementary

Hutto, Texas

Round Rock ISD

Forest Creek Elementary School


San Angelo, Texas

Angelo State University

Kappa Delta Pi chapter

San Antonio, Texas

Dr. Hector Garcia Middle School

Murray Boone Elementary

Temple, Texas

Bonham Middle School

Lamar Middle School

Travis Middle School

Un-Included Club

Temple High School


To take part in the Pennies for Literacy campaign, simply create a penny jar and a sign reading “Collecting Change for Brand New Books.” We encourage students and teachers to share photos on social media. Use the official campaign hashtag: #Pennies4Literacy.

Tell us why you supported/donated to the Pennies for Literacy campaign.

Share a video or photo on social media and tag us:

●      Twitter: @HUGSnonprofit

●       Facebook: www.facebook.com/givemorehugs

●      Instagram: GiveMoreHugsORG

Students and teachers, if you are interested in volunteering to support “Pennies for Literacy” campaign, email admin@givemorehugs.org.

Teacher Ambassador Mrs. Marissa Martinez empowered her school to participate in the Pennies for Literacy campaign.

Join us on February 11 to celebrate our 7th birthday. Click here to donate or share GMH’s 7th Birthday fundraiser. We will be raising funds to celebrate 7 years of changing lives. Plus, we hope to match our teacher and student ambassadors’ #Pennies4Literacy campaigns. Together, we can provide brand new books to students in need.

About Give More HUGS
The mission of the organization is to unite with giving souls to provide youth with the tools to inspire a love for learning, reading, and creativity.  The vision is to empower youth to stand up for quality education for all.  Visit www.givemorehugs.org for more information.

Posted in Teacher Ambassador

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