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Rosen Publishing donates 20,000 books to Houston Public Library

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Houston Mayor Annise Parker (center), Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Lawson (at lectern), and Roger Rosen, President of Rosen Publishing immediate right of Mayor Parker) April 17 2014
Houston Mayor Annise Parker (center), Houston Public Library Director Dr. Rhea Lawson (at lectern), and Roger Rosen, President of Rosen Publishing immediate right of Mayor Parker) April 17 2014Marc Pembroke
Roger Rosen joins Houston Mayor Annise Parker to announce donation April 17 2014
Roger Rosen joins Houston Mayor Annise Parker to announce donation April 17 2014photo by Marc Pembroke

At a press conference April 17 in the Program Room on the 4th floor of the Houston Public Library, Mayor Annise Parker was joined by library director Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Roger Rosen, president of Rosen Publishing, and 4 busloads of kindergarten students from various HISD schools. The occaison was the announcement of the largest donation of books in the 110 year history of Houston Public Library. Rosen Publishing will donate 20,000 books to the Library, valued at about $400,000. Of that number 2,000 are intended for the library system and 18,000 will be given to students participating in the John P. McGovern Summer reading program and other programs at the Carneigie Neighborhood Library and Literary Support Center.

Mayor Parker began the program by talking with the kindergarten students about reading, books, and the library, using examples of the way she read to her earn own children.

“We are grateful for this generous donation of 20,000 books from Rosen Publishing. This gift will allow HPL to give a free book to the first 18,000 children and teens who register for this year’s John P. McGovern Summer Reading Program,” said Dr. Lawson. “HPL is deeply committed to improving literacy in Houston. To that end, we have made the advancement of literacy one of our service priorities.

Rosen stated that his goal was to encourage students by helping them to start or increase their own book collections at home. He stated that studies show that the number of books in a home is one of the few predictors of academic success. The average middle class home has 13 books per child. But in lower income communities, there is 1 book per 300 children.

“This is an important and significant donation, and we are grateful to Roger Rosen, and Rosen Publishing, for supporting the City of Houston and HPL in this way,” said Mayor Parker. “It will go a long way toward helping HPL serve as a vital partner in the effort to improve literacy levels in our community.”

“We are grateful for this generous donation of 20,000 books from Rosen Publishing. This gift will allow HPL to give a free book to the first 18,000 children and teens who register for this year’s John P. McGovern Summer Reading Program,” said Dr. Lawson. “HPL is deeply committed to improving literacy in Houston. To that end, we have made the advancement of literacy one of our service priorities. The remaining 2,000 books will support our literacy programs at the new Literacy Support Center at the Carnegie Neighborhood Library.”

“We are excited to donate 20,000 books; representing a $400,000 investment in Houston and your city’s youth. Rosen Publishing and our Power Reading Program is committed to helping communities across the country change the literacy landscape by increasing the number of books a child owns and at times providing the first book in that child’s home collection,” said Roger Rosen, president and CEO of the independent educational publishing house.

According to the Mayor's press release:

“Rosen Publishing, Inc. is an independent educational publishing house, established in 1950 to serve the needs of students in grades Pre-K -12 with high interest, curriculum-correlated materials. Rosen publishes more than seven hundred new books each year and has a backlist of more than seven thousand.

Specializing in circulating reference material aimed at school and public libraries, Rosen titles are the gold standard in guidance, social studies, history, science, and mathematics, as well as general high interest topics for children and young adults. Rosen Classroom publishes curriculum programs for classrooms in K-12 that supplement and enhance core topics provided by the textbook. Rosen curriculum kits contain books, detailed teacher's guides, lesson plans, blackline masters, audio, and technology solutions.

Rosen Digital launched its first online subscription database in January of 2007. Teen Health & Wellness has garnered stellar reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, Voice of Youth Advocates, and Library Media Connection, as well as winning awards such as the Bessie, Top 10 Digital Resource, Library Journal's Best Reference Source, and Best New Product from the Charleston Advisor. Renewal rates continue to top 90%. In 2013 Rosen’s Digital Literacy database won best database of the year from Library Journal.”