My Home Library Initiative Celebrates Millionth Book Milestone at Browning Elementary School in Houston

My Home Library Initiative Celebrates Millionth Book Milestone at Browning Elementary School in Houston

In a heartwarming celebration at Browning Elementary School, the Barbara Bush Foundation for Literacy’s My Home Library initiative marked the distribution of its millionth book to Houston students in just seven years. The initiative, aimed at providing home libraries to children from low-income families, has become a beacon of literacy support, emphasizing the importance of fostering a love for reading from an early age.

Research has consistently shown a strong correlation between a child’s academic success and access to books at home. Despite this, the National Literacy Trust reports that one in five children in the United States do not own any books. My Home Library was established to bridge this gap, collaborating with Houston Independent School District (HISD) in 2017 to kickstart its mission.

Working in tandem with literacy partners Scholastic and First Book, My Home Library set out to distribute six free books to young readers in Title 1 schools, starting with Browning Elementary School. Fast forward to December 8, 2023, the initiative returned to Browning to celebrate reaching a significant milestone.

Brianne Matthias, Outreach and Engagement Manager for My Home Library, emphasized the importance of instilling the belief that having a personal home library is achievable for every child. “We’ve officially passed out a million books, which I think drives home our mission to provide literacy support around Houston,” Matthias stated.

This year alone, My Home Library has provided home libraries to 34,000 students, contributing to a grand total of over 200,000 books distributed since its inception. To commemorate the distribution of their millionth book, the Barbara Bush Foundation, along with partners and members of the Houston community, joined forces at Browning Elementary. Third-graders were delighted to choose from a plethora of books, one of which marked the millionth book donated to a Houston student’s home library.

The festive occasion featured appearances by beloved Scholastic characters, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Dog Man, adding an extra layer of excitement for the young readers. Browning Elementary’s own mascot, the Browning Roadrunner, also made a special appearance.

Principal Annie Marie Lara expressed her gratitude, stating, “It’s an honor, and I’m very humbled to not only witness this event but to be a part of this milestone. Our students are very excited. We’ve been trying to get more books in homes because of Covid, and the Barbara Bush Foundation has been so generous and supportive in ensuring that our students will always have books at home.”

To learn more about My Home Library or to become a supporter with a tax-deductible donation, visit their website