HEB’s ‘Read 3’ ‘Graduates’ Littlest Readers Friday at TAMIU
Posted: 5/8/14

Collaborative Reading Program Helps ‘Littlest’
Readers Make Big Difference in Early Literacy

Some of the city’s smallest and youngest readers, all participants in an innovative Early Literacy Program dubbed “Read 3,” will stand tall as they “graduate” at Texas A&M International University Friday, May 9 at 6 p.m. in Student Center room 239.

Ranging in age from two to four-years of age, the students are part of the Read 3 – Early Literacy Program, an innovative emergent literacy program between HEB Stores, TAMIU and the Laredo Public Library.  They and their families will be honored with a special graduation ceremony Friday.

For the past six weeks, all have participated in a workshop focused on early reading and nutrition for the young students and their parents.  It is led by Dr. Xuesong Wang, TAMIU College of Education assistant professor of early childhood education.

Dr. Wang has directed the program for the past three years and says it delivers an impact through four major, linked components. Thirteen families were enrolled in this Spring’s program.

“The program consists of four major components: structured instructions on basic emergent reading skills to help children begin early reading experiences; parental involvement that enables them to better initiate interactive literacy activities with children; parental instruction on nutrition and a book drive that involves all people in the community,” Dr. Wang explained.

“Both our experiences and research data have shown that children and their parents really benefit from the program. Many parents have brought their friends to the new program based on their past experiences,” Wang noted.  

By offering free literacy and nutrition workshops that value both the immediate benefits and sustainable developmental effects on children, Read 3 is particular beneficial to low-income families in local communities, she added.

“Our goal is to not only help young children and their parents now, but also encourage and ensure sustainable development of literacy skills for young children from low-income families,” Wang concluded.  

Assisting Dr. Wang this Spring were two TAMIU students, Diana Hamblen and Christine Rojas, from the College of Education’s Alternative Certification Program.  Both served as teachers at the literacy workshops for children.

TAMIU Dean of the College of Education, Dr. Catheryn Weitman, said the College is enormously proud of the Read 3 Program collaboration with its partners.

 “Dr. Wang's creativity brought the HEB Read 3 program from a single school setting to one that is open to the community of young readers and their families.  Of all the H.E.B. Read 3 programs, this is the only one delivered through a public library.  We are proud of Dr. Wang's work with this very unique community program and to be able to collaborate with H.E.B. in helping families link reading with healthy living,” Dr. Weitman said. 

Assisting Dr. Wang this Spring were two TAMIU students, Diana Hamblen and Christine Rojas, from the College of Education’s Alternative Certification Program.  Both served as teachers at the literacy workshops for children.

For additional information on the Read 3 Program, contact Dr. Wang at  xuesong.wang@tamiu.edu or call TAMIU offices at 956.326.2426.


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at prmis@tamiu.edu

5201 University Boulevard, Laredo, TX 78041-1900 Work956.326.2100