DUMAS, Texas (KVII) — A teacher at Green Acres Elementary School in Dumas who started Storybridge Dumas is still in need of books. The program started by Kinsey Bellar encourages early literacy.
“I started Storybridge in Dumas because I just saw how our community had a need for early literacy,” said Kinsey Bellar, teacher. “Before these babies get to kindergarten they just need to have those books before they get here.”
Bellar is motivated by a statistic shared with her by her mentor and founder of Storybridge Amarillo.
“Chandra Perkins shared with me that two out of three students who reach the fourth grade and are not yet reading proficiently, 80 percent of those kids will either be on welfare or incarcerated.”
Since starting Storybridge Dumas in the summer of 2018, the program has helped 350 plus kids aged 12 and under by providing books. The next chapter in the endeavor is to grow the program throughout the country.
“My goal before the next school year is that we're able to get 10 books per child,” said Bellar. “Amarillo Storybridge is able to do that but for us to do that we need inventory.”
Bellar was the guest speaker at the Dumas Noon Lions Club on Thursday where she updated the civic club on efforts to get more books. The civic club provided a $2,000 donation affording her to purchase new books from First Book.org. Bellar tells ABC 7 News many of the kids and parents are now reading together.
“We were able to purchase bilingual books and then our kids just ate them up,” said Bellar. “The kids and their parents who don’t speak a lot of English were able to read the books so it brought connections to those families.”
“The kids that this is helping is going to help them out a lot tremendously,” said David Tapp, President of the Dumas Noon Lions Club. “If they stay in the community, it betters the community and everyone in it.”
Bellar tells ABC 7 News she is planning events this spring at three other elementary schools to help boost reading and the number of books kids can take home.