If You Give a Child a Book: A Book Days and Greater Austin Reading Coalition collaboration

Instilling a love of reading in kids is critical to ensuring more children are reading at or above their grade level–a core piece of United Way’s mission to break the cycle of poverty in our community. That’s why the Greater Austin Reading Coalition, powered by United Way, has partnered with Book Days, a local children’s literacy program, to host book tours for students at Title 1* schools. 

Book Days’ mission is to encourage a love of reading in children by making reading exciting and bringing books to life. The program does this through theatrical performances and a variety of multi-sensory activities to engage and excite students. In partnership with the Greater Austin Reading Coalition, they launched their first tour across Austin ISD in February 2023. 

Kids sit around a stage and watch a performance

The tour featured the beloved classic If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Numeroff. In just three days, the program reached over 1,500 children at eight schools in Austin ISD. At each stop, children participated in a theatrical reading of the book by the mouse himself. Throughout the tour, students not only improved their reading skills, they grew their passion for books.

A child hugs a mouse mascot

This year, the Greater Austin Reading Coalition looks forward to partnering with Book Days for even more reading tours that build a culture of reading for fun and cultivate a love of books in children.

The Greater Austin Reading Coalition is convened by United Way for Greater Austin as part of the organization’s collective impact work to fight poverty.

Looking for more reading resources? Check out the Greater Austin Reading Coalition Facebook group! This group is designed for members of the community to share and find resources related to childhood literacy, specifically in the Greater Austin area, including local events, reading resources, and tips and tricks about how to make reading with your kids fun and easy. Join the group >

To learn more about Book Days, contact

*Title I is a federal program that provides financial assistance to schools with high percentages of children from low-income families, to help ensure that all children meet academic readiness requirements. 

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