Today was Reading Is Fundamental day at Mainspring! Twice a year Bookspring/RIF provide a rich reading experiences and brand new books to underserved children all over Austin, including those here at Mainspring. Books aren’t just about reading and enjoyment, they have the power to help children make sense of the world around them and to push at the corners of that world to make it as wide open as possible.
Our theme for today was Books At Bedtime so one class at a time Mainspring children, dressed in pajamas, packed into our blanket fort to hear a story read by a volunteer and to talk about their own bedtime routines. Afterwards they were led to a shelf (stocked by Booksping) that was packed with brand new, high quality books and told they could pick one to keep. After making their selection a volunteer wrote their name on a Bookspring/RIF bookplate.
All morning I’ve been hearing children “read” their names written in their books, or ask teachers to read their book to them. I saw Shining Stars showing each other the pictures in their book and improvising a plot line to go along with them. I saw Sunflowers sitting in laps, reaching out to touch the pages of brand new board books. I saw the joy that a book and a story can bring to even the smallest child and I was reminded why the work we do at Mainspring is so important. Because what I really saw was a school full of children being given two of the best things we can offer them: a book and the lifelong love of reading.
- Rudi Andrus, Executive Director