Bradford Elementary introduces new “Book a Month” program

Administration at Bradford Elementary is introducing a new reading program in January designed to get kids excited about reading.

The concept behind the Book a Month program is to send a book home with every kindergartner each month. At the end of the school year, they will own ten books. The plan is to follow them through fifth grade and when they leave Bradford, each student could have 60 books in their personal home library.

BAM was presented as a privately funded initiative to first year principal Bertha Carrasco. SAISD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeff Bright quietly worked behind the scenes to help Bradford set the program up. “We kept it quiet because there were a lot of logistics that needed to happen in order to pull it off.” Carrasco said.

“We also knew funding was going to be an issue and we were not quite sure how to make that work,” Bright said. “We definitely did not want to promise something and not be able to deliver.”

After sharing the concept, the first donor stepped up and delivered an initial check for $500. Carrasco, with teacher input, generated a list of ten “must read” books for kindergartners. This allowed the parties to get a good idea about the first year costs.

In October, donors began to jump on board. Book bags were donated by Gandy Ink. The Scholastic Book Company enrolled BAM in a special funding program called F.A.C.E. that prices books at 70 to 80 percent discounts. More generous donations, both large and small, came in and allowed the books to be ordered.

As December rolled around, all of the books arrived and BAM is now set to kick-off in late January. Principal Carrasco believes reading expands our potential, making the impossible possible. “Through community support, BAM will enhance our students’ access to literature rich environments. We are very appreciative of our community support and look forward to the impact it will make in our students’ lives.”

“As a first year principal, Bertha has shown amazing leadership,” Superintendent Bright said. “It is challenging enough to handle the day-to-day business of leading a campus, much less taking on such an initiative like BAM. I believe the parents and students are going to love the opportunity they are being given.”

For more information regarding BAM, visit the Bradford Elementary School’s website. There you will find the ten must reads, a list of donors, progress reports with pictures (beginning in late January), and learn how to become a BAM partner.