img_3530_33196530251_oStudents at Munoz Elementary in Donna will be getting some new books, thanks to funding the campus received from the Donna chapter of the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA).

The announcement was made during festivities the campus put on in observance of NEA’s Read Across America. The annual reading motivation and awareness program calls for every child in every community to celebrate reading on March 2, the birthday of beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss.

TSTA Donna Chapter President Linda Estrada and National Education Association (NEA) State Vice President Ovidia Molina were on hand for the celebration and to issue a grant of $500 to Munoz. The money will go toward the purchase of new books for the school’s library.

img_3507_33196533891_o“The grant money are dues collected from the 750 TSTA members we have locally,” Estrada said. “When we get a rebate, we set up a budget and decide how we’re going to allocate the money. NEA’s Read Across America is one of the events we contribute to. This is the 20th year that we’re celebrating Read Across America.”

This year, TSTA selected Munoz to receive the funding. The school submitted a proposal which included details of how the students planned to celebrate Read Across America. NEA’s representative who came from Austin to attend the event said she was impressed. “I was not lying when I told the children that this celebration was one of the biggest ones that I’ve seen,” Molina said. “Donna’s TSTA and Donna ISD did a really great job.”

img_3494_33196535501_o“I was not surprised by the spirit of our students or our staff,” Munoz Librarian Sandra Rosales said. “I can always count on them to support reading, especially at a fun event like a parade.”

Molina said it gives her great satisfaction knowing that the children at Munoz will be getting much-needed new books. “We hear that our libraries around the state are needing money,” Molina said. “We have books that get lost or damaged and need to be replaced. Schools also want new books available for their children to read. All that costs money. The librarians are always saying how they’re having to either beg people to donate books or pay for them out of their own pockets.”

Rosales agreed. “Libraries around our country are facing funding shortages so any kind of grant money is always treasured gifts.”

“Anytime that you get a child to fall in love with reading and stay in school and be the best that they can be is money well spent,” Morales said.