HOUSTON - There was a lot of excitement inside Treasure Forest Elementary in the Spring Branch area Thursday morning as students from all grades scoured the library for free books.
It was all a part of the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation's "My Home Library" campaign. With a corporate sponsorship from Air Liquide, the organizations were able to provide 600 Treasure Forest students with six books each.
"If you don't have air you can't breathe, if you don't have food you can't eat, if you don't have a book in your home it's hard to establish a love of reading, and reading is a foundational skill for success to realize your full potential," Neil Bush, the foundation's chairman, said.
The event will complete the foundation's distribution of home libraries to nearly 12,000 economically disadvantaged children in 2017,10,000 in just the few short months since Hurricane Harvey.
Fourth graders Aylin Choc and Aray Tyler said they were overjoyed with all the options of books to choose from.
"I like it because I like reading books, and it's pretty good if you choose books you like (because) you'll like reading it even more," Choch said.
"I like it because you get to choose any books that you want -- six books that you get," Tyler said.
The hope is that these students will eventually share the books they read with others to essentially "pay it forward."
Mike Graff, chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said they want to bring literacy to the classroom and that's why a number of their employees were volunteering at Treasure Forest Thursday morning to help kids pick out books.
Graff said it means more to the company and the employees to be able to do something like this after Harvey.
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