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Arts & Culture

Cyclists Trying To Get A Read On The Future

A local cycling group focuses less on the ride itself than on the results of the ride. Stephanie Ward field-coordinates the efforts for Ride For Reading.

"We deliver donated books to Title One Elementary Schools in San Antonio."

If you're not sure what a Title One school is, she explains it this way.

"The majority of students qualify for the free lunch program."

That means that since there's very little money for books at home, there usually aren't books there.

"So coming into summer it's really important that children have books in their home so that they continue reading."

Ride For Reading holds book drives to collect books, and they do so with many partners.

"Different companies across San Antonio H-E-B, USAA, CGI Federal have all participated in hosting book drives within their companies.  And then they donate them to us."

They gather the books, select a Title One school, then plan a 5- to 7-mile route to ride to the school. And they let each child choose the book they want.

"We think it's incredibly important that each child feels like they own that book, they chose that book."

She says that sense of ownership and bonding with the book is important for children. Ride For Reading is a national non-profit group, and locally, a new one. Their first delivery in San Antonio happened last month.

"On April 1, we delivered over 650 books to the children at Carroll Early Child Education Center on the east side of San Antonio.  They were able to choose two books each."

As great an experience as it is for the kids, Ward things it might even be better for the cyclists.

"That was a really great experience, to feel like I had made a specific difference in a child's life."

Find more on Ride For Reading here.