While planning the summer meals program with the food services department, the idea struck: as we serve meals to students we should also feed the mind as we feed the body. From there, the Irving ISD Pop Up Library was born.

Renee Newry, library services coordinator, and her team loaded up the van and made 12 stops throughout the month of June, with plans to ramp up again in late July.

The Pop Up Library joins a lineup of existing reading programs that not only promote literacy, but also aim to prevent the summer slide.

“Every summer, the students lose a month or two of learning,” says Julie Miller, executive director of curriculum and instruction. “They come back a little further behind. The effect can be devastating if we don’t do something to support them.”

Thousands of free books were given away this summer to encourage students and families to learn together, share experiences, build their home library and maintain the progress from the previous school year.

“Everyone here at the Pop Up has been super excited to be here, to come get books,” says Kimberly Knox, a fourth-grade teacher at Lively Elementary School and a mom. “It’s important that they keep learning and growing throughout the summer. Education doesn’t last for just 10 months a year. It’s all year round.”

And many in the community, like Glenda Servin, are grateful for the resources imparted by the district.

“I love Irving ISD,” she says. “I’ve put two or three generations through the school, and this idea of giving books to the children – oh my goodness. This is so awesome. You guys take care of our kids so well. I can’t even tell you how much this means to me. And I’m on my grandchildren generation now. It was really a delight and a surprise to come here and find one more thing Irving ISD did for Irving.”