Saturday Ceremony for Young Readers in TAMIU HEB Read 3 Literacy Program

Special Saturday Ceremony Celebrates Young Readers
in TAMIU HEB Read-3 Early Literacy Program

A six-week program dedicated to helping young readers and their families develop strong literacy skills will celebrate the young readers with a special graduation ceremony Saturday, May 9 from 6 - 7 p.m.  at Texas A&M International University’s (TAMIU) Student Center Theatre, room 236.


Participants in last year’s TAMIU HEB-Read 3 Celebrate their accomplishments.

TAMIU is the lead partner in the initiative, the TAMIUHEB Read-3 Early Literacy Program.  Funded by HEB Stores,  it partners TAMIU with  the Laredo Public Library, and schools in both Laredo school districts.  The young students range in age from 2 to 4, making this perhaps their first graduation experience. This is the fourth year TAMIU has lead the program.

In Laredo the program takes place at the Laredo Public Library (1120 E. Calton location), Clark Elementary, a United Independent School District (ISD) campus, and Ligarde Elementary, a Laredo ISD campus. 

Program director Dr. Xuesong Wang, TAMIU College of Education assistant professor of early childhood education, said it is designed to provide families with tools and resources to help prepare early learners and helps provide parents with information on healthy meal preparation.

“This is a six-week program providing free workshops on early literacy and nutrition for children and their parents in low-income families.  Our goal is that these parents read at least three times a week to and with their little ones. Children exposed to such literacy efforts gain important basic literacy skills before they enter schools,” Dr. Wang explained.

The program also includes a nutrition curriculum, reinforcing the importance of good nutrition in the development of strong minds and bodies, she noted. Piloted in 2011, Read-3 is now offered across the State.

Dr. Wang leads nine TAMIU College of Education students who help deliver the program as lead teachers or teacher aides. Since 2011, over 200 families have been served by the TAMIU HEB Read-3 Program.

Wang said the impact on students and their families is measurable.

“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. Children are given books to take home and continue to ready with their family members.

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

“Dr. Wang's creativity brought the TAMIU 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.  

“This is also a remarkable opportunity for our students who will someday be successful teachers in our community. We are proud of Dr. Wang's four years of dedicated work with this very unique collaborative community program with HEB that is helping families link reading with healthy living and brighter futures,” Dr. Weitman said. 

For additional information on the TAMIU HEB-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