Read Fort Worth

May 2019 Newsletter


  • Message from Executive Director Anel Mercado
  • Alexander Montalvo joins staff as Engagement Coordinator
  • Expanded Learning Update
  • Reading Volunteers Update
  • Child Wellness Update
  • Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge
  • ELA Corner: Larva and Day join
  • Racial Equity Resolution passes in FWISD
  • In the News:
    • FWISD, Texas Wesleyan team up on Leadership Academy Network

Anel’s Message

Anel Mercado Photo

The 2019 Summer Scholars Collaborative kicked off this month with yesterday’s Launch Party to celebrate our program partners, site leads and Literacy Specialists who will touch the lives of more than 2,000 children this summer.  We know the weather presented challenges and thank everyone who made last night’s event possible! Last summer, 71 percent of the kids tested gained or maintained their literacy levels at 21 sites. This year we have more than 60 sites embedding literacy in their programs and tackling summer slide together!

Have you heard? The Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge starts June 1! This challenge is for EVERYONE, ANY AGE! A community of readers, adults showing kids the love of reading! Read Fort Worth is proudly partnering with Mayor Price, Fort Worth Public Library and Fort Worth Library Foundation to encourage readers of all ages to track their reading time to win fantastic prizes. Read below for more information or follow our social media and join today!

Lastly, we’ve made another wonderful addition to the staff with the hiring of Alexander Montalvo as Engagement Coordinator. Alexander joins Read Fort Worth after 12 years as a consultant for a technology and solutions company. Read more about Alexander and what he brings to the table below.

Enjoy our May newsletter and thank you once again for your continued support of Read Fort Worth. As always, feel free to reach out to me at or the phone numbers below.

Anel Mercado
817-258-8130 (o), 602-614-2044 (c)

Alexander Montalvo joins staff as Engagement Coordinator

Alex Montalvo mugThe role of Engagement Coordinator is one Alexander Montalvo has spent much of his entire career preparing for. In this position, Alexander will be responsible for engaging and coordinating volunteers, families, community and business partners to support the goals and initiatives of Read Fort Worth.

“Being a part of the Read Fort Worth team is a dream come true,” Alexander said. “Since its inception in 2016, I have eagerly observed as the organization has grown in its collective impact work throughout Fort Worth.”

Among his many duties, Alexander will work closely and in partnership with Fort Worth ISD to support the 100×25 initiative. He’ll use his local knowledge to help better connect families with the work of Read Fort Worth. Additionally, Alexander will collaborate with principals, school personnel, parent organizations, District leadership, and the community to make sure the needs of students, district personnel and volunteers are addressed.

“The mission of Read Fort Worth, 100 percent of third-graders reading at grade level by 2025, is near and dear to my heart,” Alexander said. “My parents blessed me with a hunger for reading, and my wife and I have worked to pass that same love onto our daughters. I look forward to engaging our families and community to build a culture of literacy and assist in developing the infrastructure to support it.”

Expanded Learning Update

As Anel Mercado mentioned earlier, the 2019 Summer Scholars Collaborative Launch Party was a great success. Please enjoy these photos from the party on our Facebook page, and thanks to our good friend Molly from the Fort Worth Public Library for coming out!

It’s still not too late to join! We’re accepting applications for programs, so if you are in or know of a program serving Fort Worth ISD students this summer, please SHARE this with them. Click the link to sign up:

Together, we’re tackling summer slide! This is a critical piece of the 100×25 initiative and collaborative work of Read Fort Worth and its partners. So far, the Collaborative has registered 12 programs more than 60 sites, with more than 2,000 children expected to attend.

For a complete list of our current programs, please click here.

Summer Scholars logo

Reading Volunteers Update

Read Fort Worth’s Reading Volunteers Collaborative Action Network has started to work with its program partners in a coordinated effort with Fort Worth ISD. As the network implements volunteer best practices in order to streamline the signup process and begin recruiting new volunteers, we invite you to learn more about some of our partner programs. More news to come soon on how to sign up to volunteer for the 2019-2020 school year!

Read2Win | Reading Partners North Texas | Church-based: Kids Hope USA

Child Wellness Update

The Child Wellness Collaborative Action Network is in a planning phase on a community and Fort Worth ISD initiative. The focus is the physical and social emotional well-being of students, with the ultimate goal to increase attendance and ensure the holistic needs of each child are met so that they are ready to learn.

More info is coming soon!

Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge goes live June 1

FWPL MollyReading final

The Fort Worth Public Library has joined forces with Read Fort Worth and other community partners to explore a universe of stories and out-of-this-world experiences in the Fort Worth Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Readers of all ages can earn rewards this summer. Download a reading logPDF File with instructionsPDF File today and start earning your way towards fun prizes. Be sure to check out the online Summer Calendar for something cool to do this week.

A universe of stories and grand adventures like these featured programs are at a library near you.

Help us spread the word and rally our community to join the Challenge at any of the 17 library locations! The challenge begins in June and ends in August. Please visit!

ELA Corner: Larva and Day take on new roles

ELA logo mark

The Early Learning Alliance (ELA) is excited to announce that Michelle Larva is joining ELA as a new Project Manager to support the Alliance’s systems-building work. This role is new for the Alliance and was made possible through the generous support of The Miles Foundation and The Morris Foundation.

Michelle has served for the last nine months as the Tarrant County Pritzker Fellow under the Tarrant County Infant and Toddler Developmental Screening Initiative (ITDSI). Through her time as a Fellow, she has built trusting relationships across local, state and national partners. In her new role with ELA, she will continue to support the ITDSI initiative and will serve as an early childhood champion across our systems-building work. Michelle holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Family Science and a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology from the University of North Texas.

ELA is also excited to announce Kym Shaw Day as the incoming Chair of the Early Learning Alliance. Kym has served on the ELA Leadership Team since 2015, and is the Director of Community Partnerships for Educational First Steps. In addition to Kym’s leadership and vision in helping the Alliance create systemic strategies for increasing school readiness, she also serves as the Co-Chair of ELA’s Racial Equity Task Force and is a leader on numerous early childhood committees to increase professional and program quality across our community.

Please join us in welcoming both Kym and Michelle in their new roles!

FWISD Trustees pass Racial Equity Resolution

The Fort Worth ISD Board of Education approved a resolution April 14 to support and protect racial equity conversations District-wide. The measure passed unanimously.

The resolution is intended to prevent silencing, retaliating against, or marginalizing any parents or community members who are engaged in racial equity conversations. The resolution aligns with the District’s goal to prepare all students for success in college, career and community leadership.

Read the entire resolution here.

In the News