Book Buddies

  Book Buddies- a program of the SAISD Foundation

Founded by Jane Welch in 2014

The “word gap” between high-income and low-income children is about 4 million words by the time a child turns 4. As a Title I school district, nearly 90% of San Antonio ISD students are economically disadvantaged—almost double the poverty rate when compared to the average Texas student. Because of this, many of the children in SAISD schools come from homes with few or no books. Classroom and school libraries are not always available to children. Children from high-income families can find these books elsewhere but children of poverty cannot. Book Buddies provides free books for SAISD students in grades PK-8. Allowing these students to start and grow their own home libraries. The program provides engaging, grade-level appropriate reading materials for children to read at critical times in the summer and during school holidays. Book Buddies works with book resellers and accepts books donated from company-sponsored drives to collect children’s books throughout San Antonio and the surrounding area.

Since 2017 the international book reseller, Better World Books, has donated hundreds of thousands of books (we just cover the shipping costs) which volunteers (like you) sort and box up for distribution. Our Austin partner, Literari, has also donated thousands of hardback books for our youngest readers.

SIGN UP AS A BOOK BUDDIES VOLUNTEER NOW HERE!

In past years Book Buddies provided books to each child in 20 schools. Enabling them to become readers for pleasure and proud book owners. The intent is to limit the academic slides children tend to experience when not in school. The ultimate goal is to eliminate “book deserts” in San Antonio by flooding neighborhoods with children’s books. During the 2020-2021 school year, Book Buddies is on track to deliver to 34 schools before every major school break and throughout the summer, bringing the projected total distribution to 100,000 books.

Last year, Book Buddies served children in 20 SAISD schools, distributing 65,000 books.

New in the 2020-2021 school year– Book Buddies is now coordinating the installation of Little Free Libraries at select campuses across the district. Thank you to the students in the Lanier Construction Science program who are crafting these beautiful libraries, Joeris Contractors for donating all the building materials, and the SAISD Facilities team for safely installing them. Book Buddies is providing a starter set of books appropriate for PK-8 readers for each Little Free Library. We can’t wait to see how students at each campus customize their library with paint donated by the SAISD Foundation! Read about and view some of them featured in this article.

In the summer of 2020, we partnered with the San Antonio ISD Transportation and Library Services departments to plan a “Roll into Reading” tour, allowing us to distribute over 16,000 books to families living in the district. Learn more about this effort in this San Antonio Express News article.

Share your love of reading by helping kids in SAISD. With the help of volunteers like you, Book Buddies delivers thousands of books to campuses across San Antonio. 

1) GENERAL VOLUNTEERS sign up for a specific day to help us sort and box books for kids in SAISD. Pick your day and get started HERE.

2) LEADS work with small groups of volunteers monthly or quarterly to show them how to sort and prepare books for kids in SAISD. Email csmith@saisd.net if you would like to train to be a lead volunteer. Make a difference and receive free books, free Whataburger and SAISD Foundation gear too!

Thank you to our generous supporters!

Book Buddies is made possible thanks to the support of Better World Books, Port San Antonio, the Najim Charitable Foundation, The Frankie Casseb Youth Literacy Club (FCYLC), Literati, The Texas Cavaliers, EcoBox, and Whataburger.

Click HERE to watch our Book Buddies celebrity readers series.

Students paint their little free library at Herff Academy, December 2020

Calling all Book Lovers- We need You!

Share your love of reading by helping kids in SAISD. With the help of volunteers like you Book Buddies delivers thousands of books to campuses across San Antonio. 

1) GENERAL VOLUNTEERS sign up for a specific day to help us sort and box books for kids in SAISD. Pick your day and get started HERE.

2) LEADS work with small groups of volunteers monthly or quarterly to show them how to sort and prepare books for kids in SAISD. Email jgeelhoed@saisdfoundation.com if you would like to train to be a lead. Make a difference and receive free books, Whataburger and SAISD Foundation gear too!

Thank you to our generous supporters!

Book Buddies is made possible thanks to the support of Better World Books, Port San Antonio, the Najim Charitable Foundation, The Frankie Casseb Youth Literacy Club (FCYLC), Literati, The Texas Cavaliers, EcoBox, and Whataburger.
Port SA logo