Can you imagine not having any books? Or growing up without every opportunity to read and succeed?
Dana grew up in a house with no books, newspapers, magazines, or even a bookshelf.
Her family was very poor and moved so often that she went to five different kindergartens.
By second grade, Dana was really struggling.
She couldn’t read.
Now imagine someone giving you your first book.
It was during this time that a teacher at Dana’s school began to help her with reading and she received her first book.
“I had never had a book of my own,” said Dana. “The teacher may have given books to the other children, but in my memory, I was the only one. I held it to my chest as I walked out of the room.”
This book changed Dana’s life forever.
For Dana, this book brought a promise: it meant she had worth, that she was capable, that she had potential. Her teacher did more than give her a book that day, she gave her a future.
Even with her family moving frequently, Dana always took her treasured book – “And I Mean it Stanley” – as a symbol of what book ownership meant to her.
Dana became the first person in her family to graduate from college and attributes that teacher, that book, with changing the course of her life. Today, she serves as an Austin-area teacher, inspiring countless other children to read and succeed.
You too can make a profound difference in the life of an Austin-area child.
For forty years, generous supporters of BookSpring programs have made it possible for families in the greater Austin area to receive free books and resources.
Last year, your donations allowed us to give more than 73,000 free books to 43,700 children and 22,300 parents in low-income neighborhoods. Children with families just like Dana’s.
Every year, Dana repeats her story to her students in support of reading and BookSpring.
“I am not sure who I would have been without my teacher and her gift of a book of my very own, but I know I am who I am, because she did.”
You can be a part of the story, by making a contribution of time, gently used books, or money to BookSpring.
Together, we can share the success of Dana’s journey with thousands more children every year.