Launched in November 2018 with a grant from the Texas Medical Association Foundation (TMAF), the Texas BookShare Project aims to provide children and families in underserved areas with the knowledge needed to lead a healthy lifestyle. A collaboration between Bell County Medical Society Alliance, nonprofit organization The Leaders Readers Network, and Baylor Scott & White McLane Children's Medical Center, the project tasked physicians to "prescribe" books to their young patients during their well-check visits. The books are offered in both English and Spanish and in a variety of age groups. Topics are focused on building healthy habits, such as the importance of physical activity, growing fruits and vegetables, and maintaining a healthy diet. The program is now in seven counties across the state and has given away more than 1,500 health-related books to children in Central Texas.

The success of the Texas BookShare project lies in the power of collaboration. Alliance chapters come together with county medical societies, local clinics, and community organizations to market and launch the event, add personalized messages inside each book, and distribute the books to children during and after the launch event.

TMAA has funding for five new counties to start a Bookshare program or to continue the programs currently in place. Start or renew your Texas Bookshare program. Use the button below to fill out a request form today.

Planning Timeline

Week 1: Identify Partners
Alliance and county medical society members should partner up and pick a local clinic to work with. It is important to choose a clinic in a location with an underserved demographic. All communication with partners should be completed prior to books being selected and purchased.

Week 2: Order Books
A list of options will be provided by TMAA staff. Books range between $3.50-3.80 each and take about 2 weeks to arrive. Plan to have them in hand 1-2 weeks prior to your launch. While waiting for their arrival, work with the clinic to organize a date and time for the BookShare donation presentation. Ask the clinic to coordinate press and media, and ask that a physician or a few physicians be available for the donation presentation.

Week 3: Prepare for Launch Pick a date to host a Texas BookShare launch. Plan at least a month out to ensure everyone you want to join is invited. At this 1-2 hour event, ask members and volunteers to sign each book with words of encouragement, fold flyers and insert them into each book, and put a sticker on the inside front cover.

Following Day/Week
Select volunteers and members from each organization attend the BookShare presentation at a local clinic. Find a member who is able to easily talk with patients and family, and if there are patients in the waiting room, ask parents if you can present a free book to their child and if we can take photos [make sure to get a signature release from parents]. Some hospitals or clinics will organize this part. This will allow members to see the first book prescribed at their clinic.

1 Month Post-Event
TMAA staff will follow up with survey  to clinic and physicians.

Want to learn more?

Interested in hosting a Texas BookShare event in your community? Contact Pam Udall or Jose Melendez