Employees of online self-storage marketplace SpareFoot recently donated $300 to a class of fourth graders at Reilly Elementary School in Austin, Texas, to help them self-publish a collection of their written stories. The 31 students wrote and illustrated pieces of fiction and nonfiction work for a hardbound book, published by Studentreasures, which partners with teachers and schools to support students’ reading and writing requirements.
The 13-page book addresses a variety of topics including “How to Become a Teacher” and “How to Survive Fourth Grade.” “Students were able to choose whatever they wanted to write about in any genre as a kind of celebration of the hard work they did all year preparing for the standardized writing test,” said Eliza Gordon, a fourth-grade teacher and sister of SpareFoot CEO Chuck Gordon.
The fourth graders recently took turns reading their book to a group of SpareFoot employees during an organized story time. Jeanette DeHay, a member of the SpareFoot marketing team who attended the event, said the children showed a lot of enthusiasm for the project. She was also impressed by their reading and writing skills. “What really surprised me was how ready and willing everyone was to have their own turn at reading aloud. I expected there to be some hesitation, especially from shy students; but I was pleasantly surprised at everyone’s eagerness,” DeHay said.
Based in Topeka, Kan., Studentreasures has published 10 million books for 15,000 schools in Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico and the United States.
Founded in 2008, SpareFoot helps consumers find and reserve self-storage units, with comparison shopping tools that show real-time availability and exclusive deals. With a network of more than 7,000 storage facilities ranging from mom-and-pop operations to real estate investment trusts, the company reaches prospective storage renters though partnerships with brands including SelfStorage.com, Apartments.com and Penske Truck Rental.