"Making Laredo The Best Place To Be Born"

Reading and storytelling with babies and children promotes brain development, imagination, language and learning.

More than 60 percent of low-income families have no books at all in their homes for children. Unite for Literacy refers to the scarcity of books in the home as “book deserts.” Book deserts are more likely to be found in economically disadvantaged counties and Hispanic homes.

Children who hear more vocabulary words are going to be better prepared to see those words in print when they enter school. How often you read with a child at home influences how many words they would have heard by the time they were 5 years old: Never read to, 4,662 words; 1-2 times per week, 63,570 words; 3-5 times per week, 169,520 words; daily, 296,660 words; and five books a day, 1,483,300 words.

58% of Webb County is considered a childcare desert with either no childcare providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots.

Providing a brighter future for children in Webb County relies on increasing access to books, high-quality early learning experiences and age-appropriate resources for family members serving as first educators. Laredo Learns provides access to high-quality early learning experiences and resources in Webb County by connecting family members to experiences and resources, critical for early early brain development and school readiness.

Parents playing with their child
Logo Nobackground

Connecting family members serving as first educators to early childhood experiences AND RESOURCES, critical for early brain development and school readiness.

Parents as Teachers

Parents as Teachers is a free service that teaches parents about child development and provides parenting support and community resource referrals through home visits with the family once or twice a monthand through engaging community play groups.

Circle Activity Collection

Circle Activity Collection icon

This collection is organized around seven learning domains: Language & Communication, Reading & Writing, Math, Science, Social & Emotional, Physical Development, and Art & Sensory. Activities are provided in English and Spanish.

Bright By Text

Bright By Text makes free resources and advice to parents available right at their fingertips! Free activities, and resources for parents and caregivers Links to more online learning materials, including videos you can access on any smartphone. Information on challenging behaviors (sleep, eating, potty training, tantrums) when you need it most.

Brain Bags by Laredo Learns

Laredo Learns and its community partners have created the Brain Bag as a resource filled with learning materials. Included are guidance, parenting tips, online child development insights and prompts, and more. New parents can consider the Brain Bag as a tool to help them ensure their children meet critical growth and learning benchmarks for their children.

Little Free Libraries

Take a book, share a book. Little Free Library is a free access to all memebrs of our community. Everyone should have the opportunity to discover a personally relevant book to read is not limited by time, space, or privilege. Learn how to start your Little Library today and view the map of all libraires in your community.

HEB Literacy Events

The College of Education in partnership with Laredo Learns and H-E-B, invite the Laredo community to stop your local H-E-B store to recive free books and learn more about how to incoreperate literacy in day to day life. Click here to view our event calender (All events are from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.).

PBS KIDS Read Alongs

PBS Kids - Wikipedia

Every week, celebraties and PBS KIDS authors are reading aloud their favorite books on the PBS KIDS' Facebook page and YouTube channel. Watch them all again here and find fun activities for the whole family to do.

The Top 5 Channels for Spanish Read-Alouds on YouTube

These videos can be used in the classroom or at home, just for fun or to supplement a lesson. I’ve primarily stuck with videos that showcase the books, instead of the person reading so that you can more easily adapt it to your likes and needs -like muting and pausing the video to read the book yourself or to discuss the story.

Bilingually Yours

Spanish Life and Teaching Resources

(For Elementary Spanish, ESL & Bilingual Teachers and Families)

For more resources visit: www.BILINGUALLYYOURS.COM

BookBox Spanish

BookBox creates original animated books, narrated, and subtitled in over 45 languages. This link will send you to their BookBox Spanish videos. While you won’t find the latest bestsellers, BookBox is a fantastic resource for novice Spanish speakers. The text is simple, read slowly, and the subtitles light up as each word is spoken. They have over 40 titles that are organized by reading level. Perfect for use in schools or at home

Scholastic Storybook Treasures

Scholastic Storybook Treasures’ En Español playlist offers nearly 30 titles. These are animated books set to music and narrated by native speakers. The quality is great and their selection of books includes elementary classroom essentials like Crisantemo and Strega Nona. The only downside is that the videos don’t show text, so kids (and adults) can’t read along with the narrator.

Read Tia Carla

A more traditional read-aloud channel, Read Tia Carla, has a variety of Spanish, English, and Bilingual books. She uses books found at her local library and they are all approved by her nephew (adorable!). The camera is panned down on the book as Tia Carla reads, so you can easily pause to read the text yourself if needed.


This storyteller is a voice-over artist with a plethora of English, Spanish, and bilingual titles available on her READ IT AGAIN YouTube channel. Her approach is a simple read-aloud format with the camera focused on the physical book and no additional commentary. She’s got a great list of books to choose from and is well worth checking out.

KidTime StoryTime

Last but not least, this mystery storyteller is a working actress with over 70 bilingual titles “read with love, personality, and puppets.” The read-alouds are more English-focused and highly entertaining. The camera shows the physical book and a few puppets, while she reads the story and gives commentary. KidTime StoryTime has one of the largest available lists of read-alouds on YouTube and continues to produce great content. She has over 70 titles on her bilingual playlist alone.

KidTime StoryTime Bilingual Playlist

KidTime StoryTime Hispanic Heritage Month Playlist

For more about the Series, contact Dr. O’Meara at james.omeara@tamiu.edu. Information on College of Education programs and resources is available at tamiu.edu/coedu.