|We joined Literacy Connexus . . .
Eight hundred books donated by Hays Hills Baptist Christian Learning Center of Buda reflect more than the children, parents, teachers, and staff who participated in their recent Books for the Border project. They represent a culture of giving the school has cultivated over the past 20 years.
Image on flyers designed
by Mary Jane Harned
"It was easy for our students and parents to get it," said center director Becky Mazurek. "Our school is very community-oriented and this project allowed us to give the gift of learning."
Each year Hays Hills holds a Family Fun Night where parents are asked to contribute to the needs of others. Projects have included raising funds for a sick child, collecting coats, and conducting a food drive. This time they were asked to donate four or five books to children who have none.
The Hays Hills staff connected with Books for the Border through the Texas Baptist Church Weekday Education Association's 2011 partnership with Literacy Connexus. This year-long CWE literacy mission emphasis encourages and equips parents to read to their children. It also serves as a reminder to all that children develop best in a print-rich environment.
The Hays Hills leadership kicked off their Books for the Border project with prayer, promoted it to their staff, and then pitched the idea to their children and parents. Each step generated enthusiasm. Resource coordinator Mary Jane Harned designed a flyer to go with book collection bins throughout the campus.
As the books came in, Mary Jane made sure each one was in good condition, and then sorted them according to age appropriateness. "She has been a teacher all her life and we were blessed to get her on our team, and to come out of retirement to work for the Christian Learning Center," Becky said. "She has a servant's heart and was drawn to do something more than what we had done before with literacy ministry for underprivileged children."
The Hays Hills Baptist Christian Learning Center staff members delivered their box loads of books to the CWE State Conference in Georgetown cheerfully as a group, but as individuals, they had trouble putting their books down!