HOUSTON, TX – In recognition of National Literacy Month, the Mayor’s Office for Adult Literacy (MOAL) celebrated one year by hosting a “Drive-Up 4 Literacy” book distribution. Mayor Turner joined Houston Public Library (HPL) Director, Dr. Rhea Lawson, CITGO Petroleum Corporation’s Thomas Coleman, MOAL Director, Federico Salas-Isnardi, and HPL employees to distribute 35,000 books. The Molina Foundation donated a Book Buddies grant to make the distribution possible.
Literacy providers from Community Family Centers, Eastside University, the Chinese Community Center and The Alliance received books for their learners. MOAL held the distribution in partnership with The Molina Foundation as part of its Families Learning Together campaign. The campaign is a national initiative to encourage literacy and reading skills during the summer and back-to-school season during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I want to congratulate the MOAL on its anniversary of advocating for equitable and fair access to literacy skills,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This pandemic demonstrates that we need literate adults and families to tackle a health crisis affecting our communities. A City’s health and economic strength are determined by the resilience of its families and neighborhoods.”
Access to these books will help create word-rich communities in Houston that are healthy and complete. The event also served as a wonderful example of collaboration and support. The Houston Public Library, Houston Public Library Foundation, The Houston Food Bank, and CITGO Petroleum Corporation also partnered with MOAL in this endeavor.
As the nation’s only mayoral office for literacy advocacy, MOAL serves as an example of economic impact through service. The National Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) recognized this innovative approach and its influence over the last year. In recognition of Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (AEFL Week), the organization awarded Mayor Turner with the 2020 Adult Education Leadership Award.
The demand has been great as more than 10,740 books have already been reserved across 21 providers around Houston! HPL (or MOAL) will distribute books on a first-come, first-served basis until the donation is exhausted. Literacy providers interested in receiving books should contact MOAL at 832-393-0308.
Original content provided by City of Houston | Media Release