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Stepping Up for Children's Literature

Children at 2016 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award Author Presentations

1899 is significant for the Bobcat community. It is the year Texas State University was founded, and for those who participated in Step Up for State, it was the number of minutes they had to support 26 projects from 15 academic units across the campus. 

Step Up for State was Texas State’s inaugural online giving event planned to last from 8 a.m. on September 21 to 3:39 p.m. on September 22. The entire Texas State community was invited to participate, and gifts went toward sustaining achievement, furthering research efforts, and helping provide Bobcats with world-class facilities and programs. 

Among the 26 projects chosen was the College of Education’s Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award (TRMACBA).

The College of Education developed TRMACBA to honor authors and illustrators who create quality Mexican American children’s literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. The award was established in 1995 and was named in honor of Dr. Tomás Rivera, a distinguished alumnus of Texas State University. Additionally, the award’s initiatives help bring these quality books to the hands of children, teachers, and librarians.  

Like many who understand the importance of diversity in children’s literature, the College of Education believes this award helps students build strong and positive identities that have lasting impacts on their own education and a more equitable society for all people. This is one of the reasons the award tries to support local schools by purchasing books in advance. 

As the efforts of the award work to gain national exposure, the local impact continues to be a priority. Each year, school groups are invited to participate in the author/illustrator presentations with busing and lunch provided on the Texas State University campus. With this, the hope is that students not only relate to the characters in the books, the authors and illustrators who wrote them, but also to the college students around them. 

It was the goal of the College of Education and TRMACBA to raise enough funds to provide high-quality books to schools across the state of Texas, free of charge.

After the 1,899 minutes were complete during the Step Up for State campaign, the award had received over $5,800 in donations from more than 130 donors. Through these efforts, children across Texas received the award-winning books. Meanwhile, students who were able to attend the event met with the authors Duncan Tonatiuh and Ashley Hope Pérez. 

Overall, the Step Up for State campaign was a success and the news for the continuation of the campaign in fall 2017 has been met with excitement. With the interest growing, the College of Education will now expand to include three projects donors can choose from. In addition to TRMACBA, there will be an option to donate to the Animal Assisted Counseling program and to Student Teaching Scholarships. 

The support from the Bobcat community has been moving, and the College of Education is thankful to all of those who donated to TRMACBA and to other projects during the Step Up for State campaign.