Community Advisory Council

The BookSpring Community Advisory Council is committed to increasing opportunities for academic success for students facing these equity challenges. Click here to learn more about our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts.

Meet the Council

Marcia Del Rios

Marcia has over 20 years of nonprofit experience across multiple fields–including education and law.  She currently serves as Deputy Director of Partners in Parenting (PIP), which provides support to Austin’s new parents through peer-to-peer support groups, so they are confident, connected, and have the tools to reach their full potential.  Originally from Newark, NJ, Marcia has lived in Austin with her family since 2012.
Why do I serve:  I am a voracious reader and know that talking to and reading with your baby and young children is pivotal in creating meaningful interactions that help foster brain development and prepare children for success in early learning.
Favorite Book:  Julia by Georgina Lazaro

Community Advisory Council Crystal FloresCrystal Flores

Crystal was born and raised in South Austin and still resides there with her family. She is a former Head Start teacher and knows first hand how important it is to introduce books and reading to children at an early age. She used to teach an after-school computer program through AISD called Wiggle Works, which helped children to learn and enhance their reading skills. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science, with a Concentration in Education and a minor in child development from Ashford University. She is currently homeschooling her two children and introducing them to the wonderful world of books.
Why do I serve? I am currently a stay-at-home mom and I have a child that has dyslexia. Reading is a struggle for him at times. Letting him know and understand that others too may have dyslexia, and that reading is fun and can be easy, helps give him the confidence to enhance his own reading ability and hopefully will help others too.
Favorite Children’s Book: Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary

Community Advisory Council Genevieve HaggardGenevieve Haggard

Genevieve is the librarian at Volma Overton Early College Prep in Austin. She is a native Austinite who graduated from Trinity University and got her Master of Science in Information Studies degree from the University of Texas at Austin. In previous careers, she worked with survivors of domestic violence, managed a school admissions office, and taught first grade but as far as she is concerned, being an elementary school librarian is the best job in the world! Genevieve was introduced to BookSpring two years ago when a generous benefactor offered to sponsor her school to participate in the Books for Me program. After seeing her students’ faces light up when they received their own brand new books to keep (“forever books” as we call them), she knew she had found something special in this wonderful organization! In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, doing jigsaw puzzles, and, of course, reading!
Why do I serve? I believe in the mission of BookSpring and have seen firsthand the life-changing power of putting books in kids’ hands. I am thrilled to serve on the BookSpring Community Advisory Council to support and advance BookSpring’s work and impact on our community.
Favorite Children’s Book: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Community Advisory Council Scott WilleScott Wille

Scott Wille is the director of the Del Valle ISD Child Development Center, a 4-Star Texas Rising Star center, with national accreditation through the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Scott earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in early childhood education. He has worked as a kindergarten, first, and second-grade public school teacher. He is a certified School Librarian and served in that capacity for seven-year, before becoming the director of the Child Development Center in 2012. Scott has presented at national and local conferences, including the National Council of Teachers of English, Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, and the Austin chapter of the Texas Association for the Education of Young Children. Scott enjoys reading books to young children. Some of his favorite authors include Pat Mora, Todd Parr, Patricia Polacco, Chris VanAllsburg, and Mo Willems. He enjoys working with colleagues in the teaching profession and is motivated by the art of teaching and learning. Scott enjoys cooking, traveling, biking, and kayaking. He is a caregiver to an amazing dog, who also enjoys stories.

Carmela ValdezCarmela Valdez

Carmela Valdez is currently an early childhood, two-way dual language teacher at L.Cpl. Perez Elementary School in Austin, Texas in her 15th year of teaching. She has a B.A. in Theatre from The University of Texas at Austin and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Texas State University. This summer, she will co-teach the Heart of Texas Writing Project’s Summer Institute. Carmela firmly believes that every student comes with their own existing literacies and worthwhile experiences that make them who they are. She is passionate about her students using their voices and writing to enhance their communities and families’ lives. Carmela continues to advocate for the rights of every multilingual student and believes that language is a civil right.

Mikayala Tumale

Staff and Board Members on Community Advisory Council

Emily Ball Cicchini, Ph.D., Katie Mathews, Michelle Bourianoff, Rise Candelaria, and Susan Patterson.
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