Students at 14 Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District elementary campuses will be heading into the holiday vacation with new books to take home.
In celebration of Giving Tuesday, the Molina Foundation in partnership with the STARS Scholarship Fund and Region 1 ESC kicked off their 2015 Healthy Holiday Literacy Campaign with the distribution of thirty-five thousand children’s books to 40 designated public schools in Cameron County.
The donation totaled to approximately more than a quarter of a million dollars in books.
“We are thankful for the Molina Foundation and their efforts to support literacy throughout the Rio Grande Valley including HCISD,” said Superintendent Dr. Art Cavazos. “We are confident this donation will give students and their families the opportunity to read together during the holidays.”
Volunteers from STARS, Region 1, HCISD, and local employees from Molina Healthcare, a corporate supporter of the Foundation, were working as early as 7:00 A.M. to help sort and distribute books.
“We absolutely love the Rio Grande Valley; we have met the most incredible partners,” said Jennie Wrenn from the Molina Foundation. “They are so dedicated to the children in the RGV, and I think that’s what makes this place so special and near and dear to our hearts. This is why we keep coming back because of the great partnerships between Region 1, Molina Healthcare, and the school districts. They care so much about literacy and having the tools for these word-rich environments.”
The distribution effort began with a large-scale handout activity to recipient schools and nonprofits in Harlingen. Trucks, vans, and other vehicles lined up to load the books.
“We are so excited for our students to be able to head home for the holidays with something new to read,” said HCISD Coordinator of Library Services Mireya Galvan. “All of our Pre-Kinder through 5th-grade students at chosen elementary campuses will receive one book each.”
Schools at Brownsville ISD, Los Fresnos ISD, and Harlingen Leadership Academy were among those to receive books.
The visit to the Valley was the second of three major distribution efforts by the Foundation that are taking place this holiday season in select communities across the nation. Other locales include Southern California’s Wilmington/Harbor area and Indianapolis, Indiana.
In addition to showing children the value of books and fostering a love of reading in households, the campaign is designed to inspire healthy habits and active family lifestyles. The books are an extra resource that complements the materials and learning provided by schools, communities, and parents. Characters featured in the many titles given out included those from Cars, Monsters, Power Rangers, and the Twilight series.
The Molina Foundation is a national nonprofit organization based in Long Beach, California whose focus is on reducing disparities in access to education and health. Since its inception in 2004, The Foundation has worked with more than 1,000 organizations and schools towards this end, donating nearly 3 million books and hosting workshops and programs for educators and families.