Ronald McDonald House Houston and Arte Publico Press Launch New Partnership

Brings 1,000 New Books to Seriously Ill Children Staying at Ronald McDonald House Houston Houses

In conjunction with National Reading Month, Ronald McDonald House Houston (RMH Houston) and Arte Público Press (APP) are launching a new partnership that will bring bi-lingual, English and Spanish language children’s books to Ronald McDonald House Houston’s Houses and Family Rooms; for the enjoyment of families of seriously ill children receiving treatment in the Texas Medical Center.

The partnership was celebrated and kicked-off this week at a reading event hosted at Holcombe House with Arte Público Press Author Diane Gonzales Bertrand. Bertrand visited with House residents and read excerpts from her popular bi-lingual childrens books—The Empanadas that Abuela Made, Trino’s Choice, and Upside Down & Backwards.

“We at Arte Público Press are delighted to work with Ronald McDonald House Houston and share our books with children, pre-kinder through high school, so that they are not only entertained, but can also keep their reading skills fresh during their stay,” said Dr. Nicolás Kanellos, Director of Arte Público Press. “This partnership represents an opportunity for our authors and books to become better known, as well as contributes to one of the most worthy and deserving programs.”

RMH Houston used grant funds to purchase 1,000 books, gifted at a discounted rate from Arte Público Press. Holcombe House families were gifted 200 of these books—a variety of titles all written by Bertrand—at the reading event this week, and the opportunity to have books signed by the author in-person.

The remaining 800 books purchased through the partnership will be dispersed in the RMH Houston Houses and Family Rooms, located at M.D. Anderson, Children’s Memorial Herman Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital and Holcombe House, for children and families to read and enjoy for years to come.

“With National Reading Month underway, we couldn’t think of a more exciting time to announce our newfound partnership with Arte Público Press,” said MG Rick Noriega, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Houston. “RMH Houston offers more than a home away from home for our House families and children. We aim to offer our children enriching educational experiences while they receive treatment for serious illnesses in the Texas Medical Center and we’re thrilled to partner with APP to further this mission.”

The books were strategically selected to best fit the ages and language preferences of resident families staying or utilizing RMH Houston Houses and Family Rooms, including a combination of bi-lingual, English and Spanish titles for early childhood, early readers, and young adult reading levels.

Of the 460 families that attributed to 10,517 night stays at Holcombe House in 2018, 42% were of Hispanic ethnicity, 27% of children were between the ages of 1 – 12 and 23% were ages 13 and older.

Photos courtesy of Ronald McDonald House