early literacy

Online Learning Activities for Children

Whether you are an educator looking for distance learning solutions, or a parent looking for ways of keeping your little ones engaged, or someone who cares about children having uninterrupted access to reading resources even during school closures – we are here to support you. Luckily, many education platforms are offering FREE access to online […]

The Very Quiet Cricket inspires student to never give up

Students from Gorzycki Middle School help to remind all Central Texas families how inspirational and important books at home are for children’s futures! By: Alexandra D. (6th Grade) When I was little, my favorite book was The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle. My favorite character was the stinkbug because at the time I thought […]

Literati changes lives, one book at a time.

Literati is the book club that makes it easy to find unique and interesting books for kids ages 0-12. Each Literati box contains five, age-appropriate books based on a theme like The Spirit of Adventure or The Animal Kingdom. Each one is personalized for each child, and delivered right to their door. The Austin-based company […]

Community Connections Resource Fair

By Lorena Koppel: Volunteer I had an awesome time representing BookSpring this weekend at the Community Connections Resource Fair, sponsored by Austin Energy! The fair featured over one hundred vendors and representatives of businesses and organizations, and showcased local artisans and performers. With BookSpring, I was able to spread awareness about the importance of child […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Amanda Shaver

BookSpring is comprised of passionate individuals with a strong connection to all things book or literacy related. Amanda Shaver worked for BookSpring for little over six years. She shined the brightest as our former volunteer manager. “I loved volunteer management because I got to see the very best of Austinites–I had the chance to pair […]

Future work for 20 Books in Central Texas homes by 2020

by Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director This coming “hindsite is 20/20” year promises to be landmark one for BookSpring and for all the partners and families with children we serve. Wouldn’t it be great if we could know now what we’ll know in the future? Well, we can’t! The best we can do is pay […]

Volunteer Spotlight: Toni O’Dowd

Toni O’ Dowd is a retired elementary school principal from the Dallas area with over 15 years of educational experience. As a principal, she utilized books and story-time as a means of calming students having a difficult day. She would pull them into her office to select books from her collection and simply spend sometime […]

Summer Reading Enriches Future Academic Success

It is no mystery that summer break can result in an exponential loss of academic skills or the “summer slide.” Research conducted by John Hopkins’ sociology Professor Karl Alexander shows that low-income youth suffer significantly from a loss of academic skills over the summertime. The losses pile up contributing to an achievement gap in their […]

Home Grown Book Lovers

By: Natalia Mirkowicz A common misconception among families is that literacy education starts during the school years. Yet, research shows that starting to read and speak to newborns already begins to impact the way the brain develops and begins to organize language. Many parents prioritize speaking to their infants as much as possible. However, one […]

Children’s Book Recommendations for Mardi Gras!

By: AuntieCam, Guest Blogger  As March gets underway, many communities will celebrate Fat Tuesday, the last day before the Christian season of Lent.  Those in Texas may be most familiar with Mardi Gras, an event most often associated with New Orleans, but the same day is referred to as Carnival throughout the Caribbean and Latin […]

Partner Spotlight: CommUnityCare North Central

It is never too early to share books with your baby. Reading to babies immerses them in sounds, rhythms, and rhymes building language and early literacy skills. Books are also a crucial bonding tool for caregivers and their newborns. Through the Rx programs, we partner with healthcare providers to prescribe a book and a dose […]

The New Faces of Children’s books.

By: Ashley Hawes, JLA Volunteer As the world grows increasingly smaller due to connectivity through the internet and global travel, children’s books should represent the myriad of cultures and faces that exist within a quick search on the internet or a walk through the street in any metropolitan area. Children, especially those aged 0-5, are […]

Librarians are Superheroes

Dobie Pre-Kindergarten Librarian Alexia Haywood, in front of her newest bulletin board, holding two of her favorite books. By: Kara Hooper/ Guest Blogger  “Oh, I am so glad that you are here,” said Dobie Pre-Kindergarten Center librarian Alexia Haywood in a chipper, enthusiastic voice. “I can’t wait to get started on the Battle of the […]

Children’s Book Recommendations for Sharing Love

By: AuntieCam, Guest Blogger  With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, it is time to celebrate our love of books with books about love. As a proud “Auntie” to many children, I make it a point to shower them with books, particularly those that help them grow their emotional muscles, feel reassured that my love for them […]

Horseback riding improves reading skills

By: Nicky and Sam Ellis – Guest Bloggers of Horse Foals Man and horse have shared a strong bond for thousands of years. Horses are very friendly and one of the gentlest animals. Despite their size and height, most horses have an inherently kind temperament. Many specialists from the equestrian discipline and horse owners claim to have […]

20 books by 2020 Story Challenge: Liam H.

Liam H. held a book drive for our literacy programs in lieu of presents for his 11th birthday party. Thanks to his friends at St. Austin Catholic School they collected books to share with other children in Central Texas. Thanks Liam for helping us provide children in Central Texas with 20 books by 2020. Checkout his […]

Book drives give back to your host city

Mariela Rodriguez/Communications Director Over the last three years, we have been recipients of book drives held by several professional meetings, events, or conferences engaging their members in community service or charitable projects. This is a great way to give back to your host city. When attendees contribute to the host community, it builds a bond […]

Building meaningful bonds through books

GO programs engaging caregivers and children through motivational activities in read alouds and book giveaways.  This holiday season curl up with the family and some good books. Take turns reading pages aloud and pause to ask questions and discuss among one another characters, plot, and more. Books serve as a tool for parents to use […]

Celebrating the Giving Season with Book People

The giving season kicked off with Book People featuring BookSpring in its annual Giving Guide. This year they are featuring organizations whose missions they connected to deeply and others they have worked with to make Austin an incredible place to live. Book People is hosting give-back days throughout the month of December. “We’re so excited […]

Sharing a Vision of 20 Books in All Homes

by Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director We here are BookSpring have announced a big audacious goal: to get 20 high quality children’s books in every Central Texas home by 2020. This vision is being driven by social science research that shows a statistically significant correlation between the size of home libraries and children’s future academic […]

New Study on Book Gifting for Babies

By Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director The tradition of book gifting has been studied scientifically by researchers in education and healthcare for many years.  Practices include bookmobiles, little free libraries, and other early literacy interventions and social programs at the regional, national, and global levels. We at BookSpring look to this work to inspire and […]

Building Early Literacy in a Digital Community

By Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director The statistics about the struggle to achieve full literacy in America are startling and alarming: 14% of Americans are illiterate, with little change over the past decade, and 21% of adults can’t read above a fifth-grade level.  Numerous studies connect lack of reading skills to negative life outcomes such […]

Being with BookSpring

by Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director I recently passed an anniversary with BookSpring. I cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have been given the honor of carrying forward this worthy vision of creating a more literate future for all our children. Every day of each year, BookSpring has been delivering books to children […]

The Multifaceted Permanence of Books

by Emily Ball Cicchini, Executive Director My home was one of the many hit by the Texas Memorial Day floods. We are only now getting everything back in order, thanks to many helpful friends and services, particularly two burly men from Stanley Steamer and two helpful home inspectors from FEMA. The damage wasn’t major, but […]

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