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Executive Director Note – March 2020

“When you learn, teach.  When you get, give.” – Maya Angelou

For the past several years, San Antonio Youth Literacy has participated in The Big Give and will do so again in 2020. For those of you not familiar with The Big Give, it is a drive held annually for one day only to give individuals in San Antonio and across south Texas an opportunity to go online and donate to one or more of over 500 nonprofit organizations. For many of these organizations, this is a major fundraising event and SAYL is no exception. Over the years, through the generosity of our supporters, we have been very fortunate in meeting and exceeding our goals. Our goal this year is $10,000.00.

SAYL currently partners with 68 campuses in 5 school districts across San Antonio. Our Reading Buddy Program is a research-based tutoring/mentoring reading program offered at no cost to the districts or students we serve: Edgewood, Harlandale, North East, Northside, and San Antonio ISDs. We are able to provide our services at no cost in large part because of the many individual donors who are familiar with our program and appreciate the high level of success we enjoy with the 2nd grade students we assist. Being research-based, we have come to understand the need to address the early childhood continuum of 1st through 3rd grades. This school year, for the first time, we are offering the Reading Buddy Program to students in these grade levels at 4 campuses: Hawthorne Academy and Lamar Elementary in SAISD and Larkspur and Oakgrove Elementary schools in NEISD. We have started small so that we can examine end-of-year data and determine what, if any, curriculum adjustments may be needed and to solicit the additional funding needed for this expansion of services. That is where you, our loyal supporters, can help. We are excited about being able to offer our successful program to more students, and to strengthen the mentoring bond by providing the opportunity for our Reading Buddies to stay with their students for 3 years if possible. But we know that in order to maintain the integrity of our program, we will need funds for more books, more training materials and more program oversight.   

We have a very loyal, generous “tribe.” If all of our current Reading Buddies gave $20 each it would add up to nearly $14,000. WOW! Of  course, these individuals are already giving of their precious time. Without all of you all there would be no program. But, if each one of you asked a friend to donate $20, we would not only meet our goal but exceed it!  

The Big Give is Thursday, March 26, but you don’t have to wait until then to start giving. Donors can start donating on March 19.  As always – to those of you who are Reading Buddies a big THANK YOU!  If you aren’t please consider it.  Let’s make moving the needle on children’s literacy a San Antonio priority.

Deborah Valdez, Executive Director

Kirk Fallin