Suggested steps for Read Across Texas: The Veteran Experience
Plan out your program: Talk within your library or organization about participation ideas (book, timeline for implementation, etc). This program is modeled after Cal Humanities and The California Center for the Book’s “War Comes Home” initiative. Regardless of the book or program you choose, we highly recommend reviewing the resources created for “War Comes Home.”
Find your veteran organization community partner: The Military Veteran Peer Network’s (MVPN) mission is to support and connect communities with resources. The MVPN mission is to serve as a resource for service members, veterans, and their families by providing an active network of Peer Volunteers to navigate the impacts of military-related traumas. They are ready to assist with Read Across Texas and have their finger on the pulse of your community. They will know which veteran groups are in your area and can be sounding boards for programming. Their trained coordinators are willing to facilitate the community discussion for Read Across Texas. A total of 37 coordinators cover all 254 counties in the state. We recommend contacting your nearest coordinator as soon as possible if you would like their assistance with your program.
Collaborate with your partner to solidify program: Again, your area’s MVPN can help you frame your program and access resources. Groups in your area could include: VFW, Team Red, White and Blue, Team Rubicon, Mission Continues, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of America, County Veteran Service Officers, Loan Star Veterans Association, etc. For a comprehensive list of organizations in your part of Texas, visit TexVet.org.
View Training Webinar: The Texas Veterans Commission, Patty Mayfield of Bertha Voyer Memorial Library, and the Texas Center for the Book’s coordinator discussed the program in further depth providing a step-by-step walkthrough of how to implement Read Across Texas in your community. Librarians who wish to view the recording with the option to then print a continuing education certificate from the Texas State Library should view instructions shown in the text field of this YouTube video.
After the program: Organizations are encouraged to collaborate with partners and offer related civic and community engagement opportunities after scheduled programming. We hope the experience provides you with a means to connect with local allies such as The Texas Veterans Leadership Program, local mental health authorities and community centers, and local community collaborations. Again, TexVet.org has a thorough listing of community collaborations and community-based service organizations focused on serving the SMVF (Service Member, Veterans, and their Families) community in Texas.
Register on our website: This way your community and the state will know who is participating in Read Across Texas and how to be involved.
Apply for books: If you need books, we have funding to supply a limited number of libraries statewide.