Charity, they say, begins at home, and sometimes that ‘home’ is much more than four walls with a roof. A home is also a community. In the city of Universal City, Texas, that community has come together in a big way! Residents have applied pen to paper to create fantastic stories and amazing poetry which have all been compiled into a book, ‘Tales and Poems from Universal City, Texas’, to benefit this community home. How? Simple. All sales from this warm and wonderful book will go towards a new library and projects that support literacy in all its forms for UC’s citizens.
Resident author and organizer Brian M. Hayden (author of ‘Death: Living to Talk About It’ , ‘Road to Transplant’ and ‘Five Short Stories and Twelve Poems’) with the help of author/journalist Michele E. Gwynn(author of ‘Exposed: The Education of Sarah Brown’ and ‘Harvest’), have worked together to market Tales and Poems from Universal City, Texas which has launched on CreateSpace (an Amazon affiliate), and is now available to the public for sale. Friends of the Universal City Library, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization is the custodian of all the proceeds.
As the outspoken Mr. Hayden shares, “”In 2014, politicians at all levels consider the arts an elective that children do not require. There is war to pay for…and big businesses to bail out!” Indeed, with funds being cut from education in Texas ($4 Billion in 2011) due to budget shortfalls, and only $3.2 Billion added back in for the 2014-2015 budget which does not adequately make up for the loss nor does it keep at pace with per-student funding, failing even to hit at pre-recession levels, communities have to look within to correct what our elected officials fail at accomplishing. Providing for an educational hub that meets the needs of its community. While Texas felt it was necessary to make sure businesses received more than $1Billion in tax cuts in the latest budget, it either refused to see or failed to see how those tax revenues could benefit school programs and libraries for every single child and resident of the great state of Texas.
With that in mind, forward-thinking and compassionate individuals in the town of Universal City, Texas (a population of about 19,000, largely military families) decided that the old building currently housing books and hosting a slew of helpful programs needed a massive upgrade. After all, the old building used to be, according to Kim Turner, Assistant City Manager, “a town hall, a fire department, and a police department, before someone decided to turn it into a library.” The age of the building is showing in every crack, creak of the floor boards, and problem that pops up requiring repairs. In a city that is growing every day, it simply does not meet the needs of the community.
In 2014, the city council approved $3.2 million to build a new library. Yay! Okay, now that everyone has done a happy dance, let’s break that figure down. It costs $200 per square foot for a new one. Worse, costs for moving and storage of the old library and more miscellaneous expenses weren’t even considered when these moneys were approved. So citizens stepped up with an idea to fill in the gap.
Full of stories and poetry written by UC’s mayor, John Williams, Mayor Pro-Tem, Richard Neville, City Councilmen, residents and their children, and even published authors Brian M. Hayden, Michele E. Gwynn, and Crystal Faldalen appear in this epic book along with full-color images from around the community. It’s definitely a book filled with heart from cover to cover.
This book is for those who support libraries, support community literacy programs, and have a love of reading. It’s family-friendly, fun, and inspirational.
From our home to yours, we, the citizens of Universal City, Texas invite you to learn more about us, and encourage you to support our library and programs such as senior day, community classes, children’s reading time, and more by purchasing Tales and Poems from Universal City, Texas.
This book is what communities are all about!
Visit CreateSpace here to purchase your copy today! We extend our heartfelt thanks and eternal gratitude for all your support. Receive a 20% discount through Createspace using this discount code. 8ASS6GCM Discount good through September 21, 2014.
Join us for the internet release party too! I will post another blog post right here Saturday, September 20th. Ask questions, comment, answer trivia questions about our small community and win prizes. Also, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/688692401221019/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming