Premont librarian goes over and beyond to make a difference in children’s reading

Robin Bradshaw
Premont Librarian Kathy Russell with Derrick Lara and his Summer Reading materials.

The Premont Early College Academy’s Librarian and Media Specialist, Kathy Russell has gone over and beyond in her efforts to help children find a love for reading.

During the initial pandemic lock down, Russell decided to create a program to help children continue their reading and reduce the “summer slide.“

“I did not want any tests or pressure from the books, I just wanted it to be fun and help them find joy in reading,” said Russell. “My goal was to help students build their own home library.”

Russell, met with local community partners and received donations to purchase over 1,600 books and asked a local grocery store for the donation of the bags. She then personally delivered and distributed to students from the grades of prekindergarten to fifth grade. She made over 190 home visits delivering around 340 bags, with each bag containing four to eight books and included literature she put together for online resources on how to encourage children’s reading at-home, for parents.

Russell, is currently working on a few innovative ideas for the fall semester and plans to continue her mission by creating resources for the encouragement of children to find their joy in reading.

Prekindergarten student Lucas Martinez enjoying his summer reading bag.