R.E.A.D. Project: 2017 Update


R.E.A.D. Project

from Jody Rozbicki,

Chair of Missouri State Council & St. Louis Suburban Council


A hard-working team made this Summer 2017 R.E.A.D. Events possible by preparing the books and delivering them and we appreciate you ALL!  Betty Porter Walls, Emma Walls, Bill Kerns, Glenda Nugent, Wayne Nugent, Sam Bommarito, Pat O’Connell, Jill Lauman, Sandy Kettlekamp, Sandi Coleman, Delores Malcolm, Tammy Rhomberg and Jody Rozbicki


Summer 2017

  • June 12, 2017, to June 30, 2017 Monday mornings, Affton Summer School, (100 children, 350 books)
  • June 19, 2017, to June 30, 2017, Operation Food Search, (500 plus children, 3000 books)
  • June 21, 2017, Confluence Academy, St. Louis City Charter School, 100 children and their parents; 1000 Spanish books (books for now and later, plus classroom learning games in Spanish).
  • June 27, 2017, Jefferson Elementary, St. Louis City Schools, (400 children, 400 books)
  • June 29, 2017, Johnson-Wabash, Ferguson-Florrisant (400 children, 400 books)
  • June 30, 2017, Cross-Keys Middle, Ferguson-Florrisant (200 children, 400 books)
  • August 3, 2017, Confluence Academy, St. Louis City Chapter School, used books (400 children, 500 books).
  • August 3, 2017, Truman Elementary, Kansas City, used books (500 students, 1100)
  • July 29, 2017, at the ”Back to School and Community Empowerment Festival” during the 2017 National Urban League Convention at the St. Louis Convention Center. (10,000 attendees, 1500 books for parents & teachers who committed to reading to a child)
  • September 8, 2017, International Literacy Day, books will be distributed to the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPs) during a meeting day. Charles County Schools: Francis Howell, Fort Zumwalt, and Wentzville (30 preschoolers, 60 books)  

We need your HELP!  Once the R.E.A.D. committee approves an application form for a R.E.A.D Project, our R.E.A.D. volunteers gather at Color-Art warehouse to take inventory, prepare the “gently used” books for give-away, and box for transportation to the school the R.E.A.D. Event is to occur.  Color-Art warehouse is open from 7:00 am to 3:00 pm.  This makes it difficult for teachers to commit to help prepare our give-away books.  We are looking for teachers who have retired or teachers who just happen to have the day off when the preparation day is scheduled.  An email will be sent out to members, when we need help preparing the “gently used” books for the next give-away.  If the day fits your schedule, please contact Jody Rozbicki (jrozbicki@ladueschools.net) or by phone:  H: 636-458-0004, C: 314-983-5890 to let the committee know you would like to participate.

Another Volunteer Opportunity!  When a R.E.A.D. Event occurs at a St. Louis City or St. Louis County school, we need volunteers to participate in the event.  This is one of the most rewarding volunteer projects you will find.  The kiddos love getting the books and you will have a change to interact with the students by providing an activity and helping them select books of interest for their own home libraries.  An email will be sent out to members, when we need help for the R.E.A.D. Event give-away.  If the day fits your schedule, please contact Jody Rozbicki (jrozbicki@ladueschools.net) or by phone:  H: 636-458-0004, C: 314-983-5890 to let the committee know you would like to participate.  The give-aways might occur during school hours, before/after school, or on vacation days.  The R.E.A.D. Event date and time depends what is listed on the approved application form.



Operation Food Search

June 19, 2017 to June 30, 2017


Glenda Nugent, Missouri State Council Coordinator, read an article introducing the St. Louisans about Operation Food Search, Food Trucks, that go around the city during the summer stopping at various places, one being libraries.  They offer food to the library goers.  Glenda phoned Operation Food Serve and found out that they would like to have some used books to give kids when they come to buy at the Food Trucks. Glenda is so clever and grabs an opportunity when it shouts at us.


Operation Food Search provides free meals to children in St. Louis city and county. This is done at various locations through food trucks. For many kids and families in the St. Louis region, summer is often anything but a vacation. Instead of a relaxing break to explore new interests and places, it’s often a time

when many struggle to afford nutritious food to eat––


especially children who rely on free and reduced-price school meals. When school is out, kids are more at-risk for hunger and obesity. Nearly 173,000 children in our bi-state region bear the burden of food insecurity.


The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), funded by the USDA, ensures that children continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. Operation Food Search, a SFSP Sponsor, is connecting thousands of children 18 years and younger to food while they enjoy fun activities that stimulate their minds. These activities include literacy activities. Books were given to children who participate in the food truck events. This will encourage reading and encourage children to return to the food distribution


Operation Food Search program coordinator’s comments:

We received 3000 books on June 16, 2017.  We have distributed all 3000 books as of July 7, 2017.  The books have been given out by Operation Food Search staff and by our AmeriCorps summer food staff. They have been given to children of all ages directly from our mobile meals vans. One location has even started a book club.  An AmeriCorps team member, Christine, asks the children daily about what they’ve read and/or learned by reading. She is very excited to be part of the summer meals program and this takes to another level. Operation Food Search is grateful for the R.E.A.D Book Grant partnership and looks forward to continuing going forward.”   




June 21, 2017

From Confluence Website:

Books in English and Spanish keep momentum of Leyendo con la familia.  It’s interesting how a casual conversation can lead to an unexpected opportunity.  That’s exactly what happened. A few weeks ago, at a workshop for educators who focus on English language learning, a conversation between colleagues turned into 1,000 books, magazines, games and literacy-

focused materials for Confluence Academy-South City. The books – in English and Spanish – and other items were provided by a Missouri R.E.A.D. Book Grant from the Missouri State Council and the St. Louis Suburban Council of the International Reading Association.

Even better, the book grant allowed Confluence Academy-South City to host a summer session of Leyendo con la familia, a parent outreach and literacy program.  On June 21, before a full day of summer school, 20 students and their parents met in the cafeteria to read and eat breakfast. Afterward, students chose books to take home to keep as their own.





Robert Greenhaw, English Speakers of Other Languages coordinator for Confluence Charter Schools, explained how teachers will use the books and other resources in the classroom.   “The Spanish language books will be made available to any student who may want to read them. The books might be especially useful with newcomer students who speak little to no English. The Spanish games and books might be comforting to a newcomer student, and might also be a way to show us that they do indeed have literacy skills in their native language”

St. Louis Suburban Council of IRA and Harris-Stowe State University

June 26, 2017 to June 30, 2017


From the R.E.A.D. application form:

“A University’s R.E.A.D. Outreach Program for Summer 2017” had two primary purposes: (1) to serve as a continuing read and feed program for the state of Missouri and (2) to provide supplementary literacy services and books for personal possession of students in low performing Title I schools which are in neighborhoods traumatized by the “Ferguson Incident” and ensuing violence and community unrest in the summer of 2014.  This community service project will be an extension of services and support the University provides to its adopted school district – Ferguson-Florissant School District.  School participants are students in grades K-8 and in K-8 special education. A middle school site is added for the 2017 program.  Schools are Johnson-Wabash Elementary and Cross Keys Middle.


Also, added for 2017 is HSSU’s partner school district, the St. Louis Public Schools.  An elementary school with Title I feed services, Jefferson Elementary, has been identified as a Read and Feed site.


Project activities occurred at the three school sites during the last week of the 2017 summer school, June 26 – 30.  Project activities are limited to distribution of books to every child in the schools; the students had an opportunity to personally select a book for their own libraries. Classroom teachers monitored the book selection process in collaboration with ILA/IRA members and volunteers.


A significant and unique component of this project is the involvement of an institution of higher education in a Read and Feed project; Harris-Stowe State University is the first university to conduct direct service to elementary students in a Title I feed school for this particular project.  This is a literacy-based community service project.  This is the second year for the project.