A Statement Regarding the Closure of the BookPALS Program
The SAG-AFTRA Foundation has had to make a very difficult decision about the BookPALS program. Over the past two years, the Foundation was engaged in an audit and thorough analysis of our two signature children’s literacy programs – BookPALS and Storyline Online. Based on the audit’s findings and upon serious deliberation, the Foundation Board was required to meet its fiduciary duties and had to make some very difficult decisions. It was determined that our limited children’s literacy funds are most responsibly invested in the Storyline Online program and that theBookPALS program will end operations as of December 31st, 2017. This will entail closing the three remaining BookPALS branches in Los Angeles, New York and Florida.
We deeply appreciate all BookPALS volunteers, teachers and schools who have worked with us to advance children’s literacy for almost 25 years. We want to assure our community that the Foundation is committed to continuing our mission of advancing children’s literacy through the Storyline Online program that has been reaching and reading to millions of children every week throughout the world. We will continue to work with schools, agencies and partners to encourage millions more students, teachers and parents take advantage of our free children’s literacy resource in classrooms and homes. You can learn more about the program at www.storylineonline.net.
Each and every BookPAL has made a significant difference in the lives of children, and we are so proud and grateful to have gone on this journey together. Although our volunteers will no longer be able to read in classrooms under the BookPALS banner, we are encouraging all of them to continue their reading commitments as individual volunteers. Former BookPALS volunteers will be directed to their school volunteer program to keep sharing their gift of storytelling and fostering the love of reading in our communities.
Please contact Michelle Shegda with any questions regarding this transition. With tremendous gratitude and admiration, we thank all SAG-AFTRA members who volunteered with the BookPALS program for their service.
-The SAG-AFTRA Foundation