AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Independent School District gave kids eligible for the free lunch program books to read as they're cooped up inside.

The district partnered with the Austin-based children's book subscription service, Literati.

Every day last week, AISD Food Services handed out meals to families who may need the extra help during the pandemic. Representatives from Literati met those families on their way out to deliver a free book for kids of any age.

The company's Partnerships Manager, Vanessa Castañeda said it's their way to keep kids busy and learning during a time of social-isolation.

“Kids are out of school right now. Moms are pulling out their hair, 'What do I do with my kids? How do I keep them learning?'" she said. "Stories are a way to help them do that!”

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The company originally planned to spend their spring spreading literacy through festivals and events. 

Castañeda said the global pandemic forced them to change their strategy to focus more on service during the pandemic, choosing to partner with AISD to deliver these books to kids at Title I schools to serve the most vulnerable families. 

Literati plans to donate over 30,000 books to children in need before the crisis is over.

"There's nothing like losing yourself in a good book," Castañeda ​said. "And so we’re here to facilitate that for kids and make sure that the kids most in need have a good read."

Literati is will take this week to figure different ways to donate books to kids around the city to reach their 30,000 book goal.