Reading rooms provide kids with new opportunities

HOUSTON - This is the story of The Kids Reading Room. It's a magical place filled with books for some of our area's kids who need them the most.

The hero of our story is Trish Schappell.  By day she is a middle school counselor in Spring-Branch Independent School District, but when school ends she become a Kids Reading Room volunteer,  executive director, and founder.

“This is what I feel I was put here for,” Trish Schappell said. 

She started the program 3 1/2 years ago after hearing some troubling news.

“Children are not graduating, kids have difficulty reading, literacy may not be the most important thing at home because their parents are working full time,” Schappell said.  “I decided just to go to an apartment community and see if I could create a library."

It proved to be a success. Soon after she had five locations and kids like Denzel Garcia started coming in.

“They always give a paper at school so then I decided to come find out and a day, the day I came here I loved it,” Denzel said. 

Now Schappell needs help. Not only does she need more volunteers, she needs votes. You see, The Kids Reading Room is in the running for $25,000 through the Jimmie Johnson Foundation.

“Vote at the kids reading room because you might like it,” Denzel said.

“Once we get that we can expand. I would love to be all over Houston, why not. These kids need books, they need literacy, there's a huge literacy problem in Houston,” Schappell said.

If you want to help The Kids Reading Room then you can cast your vote at www.helmetofhope.org What's more, you can vote as many times as you'd like.

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