Port Houston truly cares about the community surrounding the Houston Ship Channel. We believe in contributing to the quality of life in our local area and our outreach strategies help us manage the balance between our business efforts and our role as a neighbor to these communities. Part of our long-term strategic goals involves developing and strengthening partnerships that bring a positive impact to our region. Recently the community relations team had the privilege of establishing the Little Library initiative in Galena Park and join the Houston Yacht Club Boat Parade.
Caption: Port Houston's Community Relations and Maintenance teams installing Little Libraries at Galena Park High School.
Little Library Community Initiative
Port Houston and the Galena Park Independent School District partnered to bring some joy to the community. Leaders at Port Houston and Galena Park decided to start the Little Library Community Initiative.
This project began as an idea from one local member and her idea to support her area . With the help of Galena Park ISD librarians, Port Houston team members used their skills to design and build eight custom little libraries for the neighborhood.
Caption: The installation of Galena Park's Little Community Library.
The Little Library Community Initiative provides people of all ages 24/7 access to books and educational materials. These libraries are complete with a planter base filled with native Texas pollinator plants. Students and individuals can use the little libraries to discover a variety of books as well as share a love of reading, both in English and Spanish.
Why does book access matter?
According to Literacy Texas (2022), “Today, more than 43 million people in the United States cannot read or write above an elementary level and around 3 million Texas adults read below a basic level.”2 With easy access to mobile devices, computers, social media, and television, it’s getting harder for students and adults to advance their reading and writing skills.
Roughly 63% of children were not reading at the appropriate grade level before the pandemic. That number increased to 72% according to LiteracyNow (2021).4
This initiative will encourage Galena Park community members to love reading, increase their access to books of all levels, and increase their comprehension levels with books in different languages.
Houston Yacht Club Boat Parade
Caption: Port Houston's Community Relations team joining the Houston Yacht Club's Opening Day fleet parade. The Port Houston Fire Boat and crew helps lead the way!
Port Houston’s team joined Commodore Farley Fontenot, and the Houston Yacht Club for the 2022 Opening Day fleet parade. The Port Houston Fire Boat and crew helped lead the parade and welcome the participating boaters.
This year the Houston Yacht Club celebrates the 125th anniversary of their founding, and today the oldest yacht club in Texas. (The Houston Yacht Club, 2022).1 The opening day celebration took place with the traditional boat parade in which members’ boats pass in review and exchange salutes with an anchored officer’s boat. As a strategic leader and advocate for the channel, Port Houston is proud to join and support local recreational users of the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay.
Port Houston is also excited to be a 2022 sponsor of Houston Yacht Club’s upcoming Beacon Group A-Class Catamaran World Championship Regatta taking place in Galveston Bay this May. Participants will be joining from all over the world to compete in the international maritime event. HYC is noted for excellence in race management and hosts 2-3 national or international regattas per year.
1Houston Yacht Club. Home - Houston Yacht Club. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://houstonyachtclub.com/web/pages/home
2Literacy facts. Literacy Texas. (2022, April 12). Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.literacytexas.org/impact/literacy-facts/
3Simmons, K. S. (2022, April 22). Texas facing crisis as student reading gap grows during pandemic. ABC13 Houston. Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://abc13.com/literacy-illiteracy-education-educators/11776796/
4The Problem. Literacy Now. (2021, September 3). Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://literacynowhouston.org/about-us/the-problem/