Storybridge: Making a Difference in the Lives of Young Readers in Amarillo Through Books

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Two out of three low-income families don’t have any books in their home for their children. 

That’s why by giving away donated books to kids with little or none, a local non-profit says, they’re building a bridge of stories to connect neighbor to neighbor. 

It started a year ago with just one book.

“We in June gave away our 10,000th book, actually here at Lamar,” said Chandra Perkins, Storybridge Director.

Since 2016, Perkins says Storybridge has been filling in the gap for at-risk-kids in our area who don’t have books at home. 

She says their goal is to collect and redistribute gently used children’s books back into the community.

As well as buying new children’s books in Spanish, and books with diverse characters. 

“Two out of three low-income families don’t have any books in their home for their children. And we have 25 Title One Schools here in Amarillo, so the percentage of our low-income families in those schools is anywhere from 75-98%. So the data would show these kids are in desperate need of books at home,” said Perkins.

Perkins tells us, in the beginning, stages of the non-profit, they first thought they would just give away one book.

 It was then after further research on the absence of books in low-income family homes, she realized the need was much greater than anticipated. 

“It’s been really neat watching the kiddos actually go around and pick out their books. It’s something that they get to do and not a lot of them in our community get to go out and just buy books. So this is something that’s their choice, they get to come out and they get to take them home,” said Juli Thrall, 5th Grade Reading Teacher, Lamar Elementary.

The non-profit is in need of people who want to invest in the organization’s dream: For every child in this city to have their own book collection at home.

Perkins says they’re looking for businesses willing to sponsor elementary schools so that they’re able to fill in that need.

If you’re interested in investing in Storybridge, click here.

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