Houston Housing Authority partnership promotes literacy

The Houston Housing Authority (HHA) and Houston Public Library (HPL) are partnering to improve literacy outcomes and ensure youth, regardless of background, have the tools needed to reach their full potential. HHA and HPL will host a Summer Reading Program Kick-off on Friday, June 2 at the Kelly Village Community Building (3118 Green St. Houston, TX 77020) from 2 to 4 p.m.
This collaborative event is in alignment with a national initiative entitled ‘Book-Rich Environments’ (BRE), designed to promote literacy and boost educational outcomes for kids across the country.
BRE brings the U.S. Departments of Housing and Urban Development and Education in collaboration with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, National Book Foundation and Urban Libraries Council. With the aims of transforming public housing agencies into book-rich environments and connecting diverse, quality books with children and families in HUD-assisted housing, BRE brings to the forefront objectives first defined by of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, which sought to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by America’s youth.
“Our teaming up with the Houston Public Library is really a great opportunity – a means year-round to enrich the lives of youth and the families that we serve,” said Mark Thiele, Vice President of HHA’s Housing Choice Voucher Programs. “The agency also fully recognizes the value of being a part of the BRE campaign and its national network of partners and stakeholders.”
The HHA’s Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program will be distributing books to the children of its registered participants (one per child, please) in the following ways:
  • As part of voucher recertification;
  • Through the agency’s Opportunity Center (located on the first level of the building); and
  • Via the HHA Family Self-Sufficiency Program’s Books and Blankets program.
Youth taking advantage of these materials can check out books conventionally using HPL Library Cards or by using the HPL Learning Link Program, which offers Houston Independent School District students free, 24/7 access to HPL’s vast assortment of books and resources at any library location and at home, simply by registering with their student IDs. The best part – these accounts collect NO overdue fines or fees and are only responsible for fees for lost books.
In addition to the Summer Reading Program, HHA Public Housing communities will continue offering monthly issuances of children’s books and other reading material by staff from the Houston Public Library. To take advantage of these services, the Authority encourages those interested to do the following:
  • Select the book(s) of their choice, and learn more about the HPL;
  • Discover the location of your local HPL branch and inquire about the Summer Reading Program; and
  • Have your child(ren) apply for a HPL card and/or utilize their Learning Link card(s).
ABOUT THE HHA:
The Houston Housing Authority provides affordable homes and services to more than 58,000 low-income Houstonians, including over 17,000 families housed through the Housing Choice Voucher Program and another 5,700 living in 25 public housing and tax credit developments around the city. HHA also administers one of the nation’s largest voucher program exclusively serving homeless veterans.  More information about the Houston Housing Authority can be found at www.housingforhouston.com.