As part of National Literacy Month, H-E-B will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Read 3, an education program aimed at promoting literacy throughout Texas. Since H-E-B launched the program, the initiative has supported early childhood literacy efforts, which have provided more than 5.5 million books to children and families across the state. To celebrate Read 3’s decade of outreach, H-E-B will host a series of events from book drives and donations to monetary gifts and story times.
“Reading to children early and often provides so many benefits and results in a child better prepared for school,” said Christa Aldrich, Read 3 Program Manager. “For the last 10 years, H-E-B Read 3 has spread this message and provided affordable access to books to schools and children throughout the communities we serve. We look forward to growing the program and inspiring more children to develop a love for reading.”
From Sept. 22 to Oct. 5, Read 3 will host in-store book drives where customers can donate books to the program. This year, all books donated will go to AVANCE, an organization that assists low-income, underserved families of young children across Texas through programming that ensures school-readiness for young children and opportunities for parents. Customers can purchase books in store to give or donate free books that come from Combo Loco yellow coupon promotions. Donation bins will be located at the front of the store, and only new books will be accepted.
On Oct. 1 from 9:30 to 10 a.m., Read 3 will host its popular Read 3 Read-in, where schools pause classes and read for half an hour. Schools that register for this year’s Read-in will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win $1,000 for their school’s library. Since the Read-in launched in 2016, more than 200,000 children have participated in Read 3’s Read-in. Schools can register on the Read 3 page here.
Also, all H-E-B stores in Texas will gift 100 books to a school of their choice. And on Oct. 15, Read 3 will host a virtual story time with author Erica Burrell to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Read 3 is one of many programs H-E-B champions to support public education in Texas. The company launched the program to promote good reading habits at home, encouraging parents to read to their children at least three times each week. Along with the various activations, the Read 3 program has kid activities, at-home literacy lessons, summer reading club, and book lists available on its website for parents to reference. Through the Read 3 program H-E-B has held more than 5,000 hours of story time at stores and schools and donated more than $750,000 in sponsorships and programming to schools, libraries, and educational nonprofits.
Coinciding with Read 3, H-E-B will celebrate National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month in October with its anti-bullying campaign H-E-B Buddy League. Since 2016, the annual program encourages students to “Be a buddy, not a bully.” Although the program will forgo its regular school visits and live performances this year, H-E-B Buddy League has reading materials, video, activities, and other resources available on its website.