Teach a person to read and you open a door—not only to an unparalleled world of wonder and entertainment—but also to independence, freedom, and success. Yet those doors are remaining closed for too many: In 2019, the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that two-thirds of the nearly 294,000 fourth- and eighth-grade students who took the test couldn’t locate information that’s stated in a text, infer the main ideas of an article, explain the theme of a story, or evaluate a . . .
By Courtney Runn The snow has melted, but Texas is still reeling from last week’s historic winter storm. Days of freezing temperatures left millions of Texans without power and water, leading to medical emergencies, burst pipes, house fires, carbon monoxide poisoning, and food insecurity. As the state slowly recuperates, local nonprofits and mutual-aid organizations are rushing to provide storm relief. In Austin, organizations have focused on water and food distribution, as both needs . . .
The Texas Book Festival launched by former librarian and then First Lady of Texas Laura Bush and philanthropist Mary Margaret Farabee in 1995 continues to grow in size and impact. Today the literary event brings more than three hundred authors to Austin each fall for a weekend of thought-provoking book discussions. What’s more, its book sale proceeds and attendee donations support powerful student programs in schools throughout Texas year-round. One of those programs is Reading Rock Stars, . . .
Thanks to Austin Woman for featuring me on the cover and highlighting the great work of the Texas Book Festival, Austin Public Library Friends Foundation, and I Live Here I Give Here. It's an honor to work within such a vibrant nonprofit community, fighting for more equitable distribution of our region's vast resources. . . .
The stunning Austin Central Library, already a finalist for the International Federation of Library Associations’ Public Library of the Year, leaped in prestige by winning LEED Platinum Building Certification this summer. The award confirms that the space’s design and construction exemplify the utmost concern for human and environmental health. The library scored high marks for its green power, water-recycling systems, daylight use, views and community connectivity. Yet, we should feel . . .
It is an honor to be featured in Tribeza Magazine's People of the Year for 2017-the artists, thinkers, builders, and visionaries shaping the future of Austin. . . .
It's Toast Time in Austin, the wonderful season when exceptional parties bloom around town in support of the St. David's Foundation Neal Kocurek Scholarship Fund. I had the distinct pleasure of participating in the first two parties this year. I moderated a discussion with Karan Mahajan, author of The Association Small Bombs, at Saturday afternoon's event, then appeared on Tuesday night with Shaka at a party where he was the featured speaker. Both were great opportunities to . . .
I'm so excited to be included in Austin Way's listing of Renaissance Women—creative players behind Austin's arts scene. . . .
On April 8, Ruthless Good: The Great Austin Scavenger Hunt will dispatch dozens of teams from the Long Center to crack clues, solve trivia challenges, and discover photo-worthy landmarks and locales. But the rolicking hunt’s true aim is problem solving on a much grander scale–bolstering equitable community-wide access to health, education and work. . . .
As a relatively new Austinite, I was honored to join Kendra Scott, Mayor Steve Adler, Andy Roddick, Brooklyn Decker, Aaron Franklin, Celeste Flores and Earl Maxwell in a special video for Amplify Austin Day. . . .