My name is Sara Smart and I am a third teacher at Parker Elementary School in Galveston, Texas. This organization was born out of a deep desire to help increase my own students access to books but also the students of Galveston Island and beyond. This December I hosted a book drive in order to provide my students with books for Christmas. The book drive was so successful that I was able to provide each student in the third grade at Parker with three brand new books. My main goal in providing books for my students was so that they could begin to create their own home library. Seeing my community and friends rally around my students and support them made me realize maybe I could do something to support my students outside the classroom as well.
During Christmas break I began researching and educating myself on the literacy gap in America. I was stunned to find out that only 8% of low income families utilize the public libraries. This immediately got me brainstorming how I could help my students without access to public library or the financial resources to purchase books. A large percentage of the students who attend my school live in the apartment complexes that surround it. My goal is to provide those apartment complexes and even those beyond the island with bookcases filled with new and gently used books. I want all students to always have “Books Within Reach” no matter their circumstances.