Bringing stories written by and about women to underfunded school libraries can inspire girls to reach their full potential.
On average, Dallas Independent School District spends $14 per student on libraries - including both books and supporting librarians. That means only 1 book per student will be placed in the libraries. And within the last year, the district has cut their library budget by 25%.
Of the books libraries do have on their shelves, recent studies have shown that only 10 - 20% were written by women, and a similarly low percentage feature strong female role models.
We have all experienced the power of a great story to change the way we see ourselves and our lives. Young girls, particularly those in middle school, are in desperate need of these stories at a time when they are still forming their identities. Story Power seeks to influence how girls see themselves and their future by gifting them with access to a world of stories and knowledge.
We are dedicated to helping D.I.S.D. place more books on their shelves. Students deserve an opportunity to escape into a book and travel the world through literature. Story Power provides students with access to stories about women from history and novels penned by female authors, as well as works of fiction that show the strength of women through resilient characters. Books can change lives, but only if students have access to them.
Story Power's list of 10 Fabulous Must-Reads have been hand-selected by our Academic Advisory Council, which includes a team of educators, curriculum designers, and community leaders - and, each book has been approved by one of the numerous high school students actively involved in our program.
Help this program by donating to Story Power. Every $5 can place a book on a shelf. Every $75 can sponsor a classroom. Visit https://www.cftexas.org/story-power to donate.
Story Power teams up with the Dallas Independent School District to work with students, pushing them to achieve their goals.
Starting July 1, 2014, Story Power's group of high school volunteers traveled to South Dallas to help the students attending summer school at Edison Middle School, where 78% of students are designated "at-risk." We met with students in the library and read stories about inspiring women who overcame obstacles to become successful in their respective fields. Stories included Ruby Bradley, a World War II nurse whose camp was taken over by the Japanese, and Maya Angelou, a renowned "Renaissance woman" who began life as a low-income single mother. The students then engaged in discussion questions with our volunteers, who challenged them to look deeper and find reflections of themselves in these women and their struggles.
In 2015, Story Power recreated this model at Dealey Montessori School, introducing summer school students to powerful women from history and literature to inspire self-reflection and growth. We expanded on 2014's successes by introducing units on Greek mythology, poetry, and more. The different focuses of each week enabled students to use stories to draw connections to the world around them.
During the 2014 program, we read sections of Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's Leading Ladies: American Trailblazers and Sheryl Swoopes' Girls Who Rocked the World. Highlighted works in 2015 included Maya Angelou's Phenomenal Woman poem, and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
Each summer, Story Power Summer served over 1,000 students. An average of 88% said they enjoyed the program, and 91% felt they learned something new.
To help fund this program and other future programs like it, go to https://www.cftexas.org/story-power. With your generous contributions, Story Power can keep inspiring girls with in-school programs like Story Power Summer.