It’s that time of year! Story Spark will once again curate gift sets that include quality books and related educational/play items for Amarillo children from low-income families during the holiday season by partnering with local organizations that serve children, infants to age 10, and their siblings.
The Story Spark Holiday Project
aims to enrich the lives of children from low-income families by providing them and their families book-based learning opportunities through quality books and related educational/play items.
We hope to SPARK deeper bonds, curiosity, and a love of learning for the children and their families.
Who benefits from the Story Spark Holiday Project? Based on family need, we have partnered with The Children’s Learning Centers in Amarillo, who serve children 6 weeks to 10 years old. 4 of the 9 Learning Centers also partner with AISD to provide Pre-K to families who qualify based on income. The Learning Centers we collaborate with serve the areas of Amarillo in most need.
This year we are also partnering with HIPPY Amarillo, a group that provides free, evidence-based Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters in at-risk communities. HIPPY partners with parents to help prepare their children for success in school by providing supplies, curriculum, activities and books for families to keep.
How do we achieve our mission? The kind staff at the Children’s Learning Centers and HIPPY provide just enough information for us to carefully curate gifts that match each recipient’s/child’s interests, home language, and developmental stage.
100% of the funds collected through our GoFundMe
will help purchase books and related activities.
In addition, we have partnered with St. Andrews Episcopal School in Amarillo. This year the 5th grade class at SAES has adopted our project as part of the Service Learning that is integral to their school. They will be helping coordinate a Buy One Give One event during the Fall Book Fair, as well as additional book/toy drives for specific items needed. They will also be involved in the delivery of gifts to the various children to benefit and receive gifts from our project. We are very excited for them to be a part of this joyful and impactful service experience.
History: This is our FOURTH year organizing the Story Spark Holiday Project. We have had tremendous success and increased our impact each year!
In 2020, we raised $1150 and provided gifts to 65 children in Amarillo.
In 2021, we raised $1500, collected more than 120 in-kind donations, and provided gifts to 125 children total.
In 2022, we raised a little over $2000, collected over 100 in-kind donations, and provided gifts to 201 children total!
I am thrilled to have your support in increasing our impact in 2023.
How can you help?
1. Join me in extending the Story Spark experience to Amarillo families in need this Holiday season by donating
any amount you can.
2. Help spread the word!
3. If you are interested in helping or supporting in some other way, leave me a message.
Thank you so much for supporting Story Spark and our community! Let’s spread peace, love, and books together!
About Story Spark
Story Spark was founded in September 2018 and began by offering book-based, hands-on classes for children ages 0-5 and caregivers. During COVID, Story Spark was forced to close their doors in 2020, but we reimagined our mission and purpose by founding the Story Spark Christmas Project, benefiting children from low-income families by providing carefully curated gifts that include quality books and related educational/play items.
The founder of Story Spark has since returned to her passion of teaching and supporting students, applying her background in Special Education, Autism Intervention, Giftedness, and literacy and language building in the school setting.
However, the Story Spark Holiday Project continues.
The Story Spark Way
Each time you open a book with a little one, you can SPARK so much: a special bond, their creativity, a fierce imagination, a sense of wonder and inquiry, critical thinking skills, empathy, and a love for reading, art, music, drama, math, science, history, and so much more.
In Story Spark classes, we enjoy books through song, active participation, and movement. You can expect your child to be exposed to diverse books, different languages (predominantly Spanish and sign language), cultures, and concepts. We will go beyond read-aloud to explore a variety of age-appropriate activities that cover the range of developmental areas of growth and further spark a love of learning and books!
For more information about my educational background and teaching philosophy, please explore my teacher/mom blog, especially Who Is Maestra Momma and Profile of a Daycare and Teacher.
Ms. Annika, M.Ed., Sp.Ed.
Founder of Story Spark & Director of the Story Spark Holiday Project
* Testimonials *
Excellent program and wonderful teacher! Annika is amazing and you can tell she is very compassionate with kids!! I will definitely be enrolling [my son] back into the program in the Fall 2019. – Kendra S.
We loved your Story Spark class!!! The only reason we aren’t enrolling in the fall is because [my son] will be in preschool. Good luck! – Kristi D.
Don’t forget to follow @storysparkkids on Facebook and Instagram for updates on how we are making an impact in the community with book-based play and learning!