Today@Sam Article

College Of Education Color Run Supports Literacy For Walker County Youth

April 28, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Wes Hamilton

Sam Houston State University’s chapter of the Texas Association of Future Educators (TAFE) is hosting the first annual Run With Your Imagination 5K Color Run. The race begins at 9 a.m. on May 1 at the Garret Education Building and proceeds will benefit Walker County’s Dolly Parton Imagination Library.

The Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth through age five, no matter their family's income. In Walker County, more than 750 children receive a book through this program each month.


Destiny Burton, a senior in the College of Education and president of SHSU TAFE, is coordinating the organization’s fundraising efforts. Burton was drawn to helping this program because it spreads the love of literacy to kids before they get to elementary school.

“You are sponsoring a child before their educational career starts, giving them 12 books in a year to discover the love of literacy before they even enter formal school,” Burton said. “I remember going to the library growing up. It was fun to discover and learn new things. It is all about finding your own personal interests in books and we want to help these kids find their inspiration because there is so much kids can learn from books and early reading.”

Burton says she has always been drawn to the education field. Getting the chance to watch her older sister teach, and serving as a student teacher herself, has given her the drive to educate the next generation.

“Getting experience in a classroom confirmed that this is exactly where I want to be. I want to be a support for my students. I want to be there as a teacher to teach them things they need to know, but also be their support system,” Burton said. “I chose Sam Houston State because I know they have a great education program and I knew I wanted the best.”

While Dolly Parton has been very generous in support of the Imagination Library, some local funding is required. It costs $25 in local funds to cover one child's costs annually. Thanks to the generous support of sponsors for the race, the $25 entry fee for the run will go directly to support one child in this program for an entire year.

The event, hosted in partnership with the local Montessori school Tomorrow’s Promise, will include a bounce houses for kids and a booth where children in Walker County may sign up for the program to begin receiving monthly books.

“This will be a fun day to learn about a great cause that helps out our local community,” Burton said.

Registration for the race is at The first 200 entries will receive a gift bag and participants will be provided with a t-shirt. If you cannot participate in the event, but would still like to the program, the website also includes a “sponsor a child for a year” option where non-racers may donate.

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