Paper, by Literati

Explore our conversations, research and life at Literati as we discuss what it means to elevate the global consciousness through books.

Double the Donations! Stories for Summer Programs

Every Literati box offers a chance for Club Members to clean out their shelves, reuse their shipment box, and send us books they’ve outgrown. We partner with literacy programs and schools to get these preloved book donations to new homes—it’s part of our mission to spread the magic of reading far and wide. During the COVID-19 crisis, this is more important than ever. We made a commitment to up the ante on donation efforts and set a goal to give out 30,000 books. Especially in times like these, we’re grateful to be able to contribute to our communities. Thanks to you, we’re able to.

We pledged to match every new subscription or gift box purchase during select weekends in April with Literati book donations of our own. The huge response we saw was absolutely incredible, so we set off on a hunt for new donation partners.

Here’s where those book donations went: 

These two amazing new partner organizations are changing the world for kids. Introducing: Art All Summer, and The Andy Roddick Foundation.

400 Goodie Bags of Art Supplies and Stories

Art All Summer is an arts enrichment program for Govalle Elementary, a Title 1 school where many of the young students come from low-income families. Art All Summer makes sure that every student, despite financial barriers, can experience the power of art and creativity. Any friend of the arts is a friend of ours!

With Art All Summer’s after-school programs, every student K-5 gets an Activity Kit. These fun goodie bags are filled with colored pencils, glue, scissors and art supplies to help brighten brains with creativity and color.

What else helps color new worlds and enliven young minds? You guessed it: new books. (You’re really catching on!)

Our team pored over our donations to choose books full of new worlds and new adventures. We added one book to each Activity Kit for students to savor.

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The Literati team is especially grateful to be able to give stories to students during the summer, when reading skills and creative talents can flourish outside of the classroom. When they’re lost in the pages of a great book, they’ll hardly realize they’re still learning.

200 Stories Serving “Aces” to the Austin Community

The Andy Roddick Foundation is a true champion when it comes to improving educational standards across central Texas. Founded by the professional tennis player himself, the foundation’s programs aim to inspire life-long confidence by keeping kids engaged and helping them find their passions, both inside and outside of school. 

The Andy Roddick Foundation has impacted more than 35,000 students across Central Texas and beyond.

At Literati, we’re thrilled partner with the organization’s #SummerSlidePrevention initiative, which helps students keep up their reading over the summer. ARF has been transforming communities for 20 years, and the organization’s summer learning programs have delivered some incredible results. When looking for a partner in literacy, we knew that this foundation would get our books into good hands.

Limited internet access can make it difficult for families to encourage continued education over the summer. By creating fun, active programs that keep learning alive, the Andy Roddick Foundation helps fight this “summer slide.”

It’s a mission we’re more than happy to support, donating books to Texas families that need them the most.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes. But They All Read Books. 

They show up, clad in PPE and hidden smiles, to help us sort and ship hundreds of books from our warehouse, and we wanted to give a special shout-out to the behind-the-scenes heroes of these donation initiatives. Meet two of the women who dedicate hearts and souls to help children thrive:

Amy Laverentz, Founder, Chair at Art All Summer and Treasurer for the Govalle PTA
Amy Laverentz, Art All Summer founder and donations aid

Amy founded Art All Summer at Govalle Elementary after volunteering with the school’s art classes and falling in love with the students. 93% of these students come from economically-disadvantaged homes. Amy wanted them to still have access to high-quality art supplies so they could experience all the joy and educational benefits of an art-filled education.

“Our goal is to keep our Govalle Roadunners creating and growing and learning all summer long,” she said. “Adding a book for each child is a natural pairing. Thanks to Literati, books will be a part of our program going forward!” 

Amy’s favorite children’s literature is the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle series. 

Mary Riggs, MSW, MBA, Chief Program Officer at Andy Roddick Foundation
Mary Riggs, donations aid from Andy Roddick Foundation

After pro-tennis founder Andy Roddick retired and refocused ARF’s mission with a deeper investment in Austin’s children, Mary was the first program staff member hired. She has since steered the foundation towards expanding opportunities for young people to learn, thrive and succeed. Mary absolutely loves what she does, and she’s proud of the impact her team has made over the past seven years. 

“The incredible generosity of Literati’s book donations allowed us to provide books this May for hundreds of children,” she said, “not only keeping them reading and learning but also providing the happiness only a book can.”

Mary loves being able to read with so many children, and has picked up many favorite tales along the way. One of her all time favorites is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. At home with her own 3 year old, the Elephant and Piggie series by Literati fave Mo Willems is a recent staple.

Help us get to 30,000! 

With another 600 books under our belt, our quarantine donations goal is within reach—but we couldn’t do it without you. If you know any organizations that could partner with Literati to spread literacy and joy, let us know! Here’s how it works. And, as always, keep sending us your preloved reads. We’ll continue getting them to new families most in need of our support.

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