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Executive Director Note – November 2019

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.” The Little Engine That Could – Watty Piper

Most grocery store trips I took with my mother would end with the selection of a Golden Book. I am told that grocery stores still stock Golden Books, but I must admit that I haven’t paid much attention since my son and his daughter are no longer of an age to enjoy these little treasures. I really don’t remember visiting a bookstore (we were loyal military base library patrons) so, my personal library was stocked with these books including The Little Engine That Could. Aside from being affordable, Golden Books included many titles that provided life lessons. I remember, as a small child, reading The Little Engine That Could and referring to it in my mind when I would be confronted with the challenges of life. I would recall the brave little mouse who helped the lion and know that kindness was always the best choice. And, the story of the Shaggy Baggy Elephant, who was made fun of and felt bad about himself until finding others who looked just like him and were beautiful… a great lesson for a little girl who had to continually “fit in” with every move her family took.

San Antonio Youth Literacy prides itself in providing the best titles from which our Reading Buddy students can select to read with their Buddies. Many are classic titles, but we also include contemporary authors who have created culturally rich stories just as pertinent to life as the classics. Yes, our program is about improving our students’ reading, but it is also about learning to enjoy reading and relating to the stories. My memories of the grocery store trips were not about the grocery list, they were about the books.

If you are not currently a Reading Buddy, come join us. It is so rewarding. If you are, tell someone and be a recruiter for SAYL; after all, you are our best recruiters. Our goal this year is to have at least 700 volunteers. We can so do this!

Deborah Valdez, Executive Director

Sign-up to be a Reading Buddy here!

SAYL Intern