The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and its Ladies for Literacy Guild recently announced the donation of a fourth Curiosity Cruiser to the Harris County Public Library, which will hit the streets in October. The “super library on wheels” will join a fleet of three existing Curiosity Cruisers, taking much-needed programming directly to children in underserved areas to break the barriers of accessibility.
The mobile libraries, which will be stocked with new books, iPads, laptops, and curricular kits, will travel to low-income neighborhoods across greater Houston, providing children access to books and out-of-school time science, reading, engineering, and math (STEM) with art and reading programming.
“The value of public-private partnerships in providing solutions to some of our city’s most pressing challenges, such as the educational achievement gap, cannot be underscored,” said Dr. Julie Finck, President and CEO of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation. “We are grateful to Oxy, Crown Castle, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and PwC for investing so generously to help us increase equity of educational opportunity and outcomes for underserved children across Harris County through the Curiosity Cruiser mobile library initiative.”
“The Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation is an exceptional organization, and it is so gratifying to contribute to its mission and help lift up the communities in our great city by giving children the chance to fall in love with reading and learning,” said Yanni Charalombous, Oxy’s Chief Information Officer.
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The donation was commemorated with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Julia C. Hester House where a group of nearly 50 children of Greater Fifth Ward boarded the new cruiser to select a new book and engage in several hands-on STEM programs.
“Since Harris County Public Library partnered with the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation Ladies for Literacy Guild in 2017, we have been able to distribute over 69,000 books to over 55,000 youth throughout Harris County,” said Edward Melton, Director, Harris County Public Library. “We have been able to increase access to books, reading and learning to promote literacy and engagement in STEM activities. The impact of this program is immeasurable as we develop a generation of lifelong learners. It is humbling as well as gratifying to share these resources with the Harris County community.”
Children served through the Curiosity Cruisers receive access to weekly STEM programming, including robotics, coding, artificial intelligence, circuitry, 3D printing, and books to build their home libraries.
More information about the Curiosity Cruiser can be found at www.CuriosityCruiser.com.