Trish Schappell, is a middle school Counselor, former teacher, administrator, and instructional curriculum coach. She has been an educator for 22 years. Trish currently lives in Houston Texas and is from Corpus Christi, Texas. She got started in her social change work, by attending a summer week long training on reading and how to better support teachers in reading instruction. Previously, she had only taught math and science most of her career, so she had a lot to learn. It was there Trish learned of the poverty in her own school district and how kids could not read and were not graduating. The idea to bring books to children at their apartments came to her mind. Trish was compelled to do something, but did not know how actually. After a couple of months of being bothered with the thoughts of doing something for the kids, she finally stopped at an apartment complex near her home and told them her idea of creating a reading room for their kids. Trish was lucky! The manager was extremely open to it!  A month later she had donated books, shelving, and more.

The Kids’ Reading Room opened their first room November 2013 and she met 20 little faces that first day! She was hooked! They now have 4 locations and are moving into a new 5th one next Friday! During its  first year, TTP funded their need to become a nonprofit organization. It paid for her organization’s nonprofit status. The next year TTP gave them funds to open a new Kids’ Reading Room location. Because of those funds, they were able to purchase all furnishings, new books, snacks, and more. In addition, they were just awarded a 3rd grant to help them expand and grow.

The work and the students they support and serve, mean the entire world to Trish! Trish exclaimed “I know I was meant to do this”. There are so many ups and downs. It is a constant roller coaster and there are always challenges. She has come to expect it and works to never get discouraged. Tris focuses on the positive and what is working.  Learning as she goes, Trish has grown in both, leadership, and character. She sees the poverty many of the children live in. As an educator, Trish knows the struggles they face in school and wants to help to close some of those gaps. She believes that surrounding them with books/literacy gives them more advantages and opens more doors in their future. She knows it’s important to never give up. She must keep going to make a difference.

Main content from interview carried out by Youth Leadership Fellow Alicia White

Learn More About Patricia and The Kids Reading Room

kids reading at the reading room

2014 Seed Grant

2015 Patricia Schappell Impact Grant

2015 Impact Grant

Volunteer at Kids Reading Room Project

Patricia in Huston Chronicle