“I feel the need of reading. It is a loss to man not to have grown up among books.” –Abraham Lincoln
How fitting that during the birthday month of one of America’s greatest citizens, we should reflect on his words concerning reading and books. Even though Lincoln came from a humble beginning, his passion for literature and its importance are well known. Having been born in the “Land of Lincoln,” (Illinois) and living with my mother’s parents during my dad’s Air Force absences, I was well acquainted with Lincoln lore. Every school child knew the story of how Lincoln grew up reading by the light of an oil lamp in a one room, dirt floored cabin. We were all able to recount the stories of Lincoln walking many miles a week to avail himself of books and educational opportunities and how he knew at a young age that learning to read would be the key to his future. The greatest educational minds of today continue to validate what Lincoln believed – that every successful endeavor in life comes back to the appreciation of, and ability to read books.
How fitting as well, as we approach his birthday, that through the persistence and passion of Ms. Jane Welch, our Book Buddies Initiative founder and director, a delivery of over 40,000 books (10 tons) from the Better World Book depository would be realized. This donation, yes, these books were donated, has the very real potential of bringing Jane and the dedicated Book Buddy volunteers even closer to their goal of putting books in the hands of every elementary school student in San Antonio. But, without the support of Superintendent Pedro Martinez, his staff, and the SAISD School Board, we would not have had a place to put these books. They made it possible for Book Buddies to warehouse the books while selecting and sorting them in the gym of the former W.W. White Elementary School. What a great partnership!!
Every day I marvel at the fact that so much is being accomplished by our extraordinary Reading and Book Buddy volunteers, people of San Antonio who recognize the importance of helping children to become life-long learners through owning and reading books. It’s never too late to become a part of the solution. As I do every month with joy and hope, I invite you to become a Reading Buddy, Book Buddy and/or donor.
P.S. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!