Over a decade ago, H-E-B created an educational program called Read 3. The initiative focuses on shaping young, Texas minds in the communities that H-E-B has proudly served since 1905. The grocer is committed to placing people first simply because they matter, giving back to make positive change, and investing in the future of their local communities.
The idea of Read 3 is simple–challenge families and caretakers to read to their children 3 times a week, for 30 minutes. Texas has one of the poorest literacy rates in the country, and reading to children early is the best defense. As a proud Texas brand, H-E-B created Read 3 to shift the narrative and encourage a brighter future. In the last eleven years, H-E-B has made literacy more accessible from licensed, dollar-priced books, created specifically to serve low-income households, to educational events like library read-alongs across the state! In 2022, Read 3 was thrilled to further the excitement of reading with Texas' biggest, ever read-along!
In partnership with Camila Alves McConaughey, a champion of change and education, H-E-B hosted the ultimate, Texas-sized read-along. Over 100,000 elementary students, including 2,000 Austin, in-person students, collectively read McConaughey’s bestselling book, “Just Try One Bite.” Together, the students made history—exemplifying great capacity for the future of Texas and generational success.
H-E-B coordinated with The Long Center of Performing Arts, 40 Austin schools and 2,000 local students for in-person participation as well as 100,000 virtual students from over 400 schools across the state of Texas! In-person students were gifted commemorative shirts, McConaughey’s “Just Try One Bite” book, a Read 3 bookmark, and refreshments, all, compliments of H-E-B. Virtual students joined the event through live Facebook and YouTube streams. As students arrived or tuned-in, a live DJ performed a fun playlist and set the mood for the historic read-along. As McConaughey and select students read through her book, the audience followed along—stimulating their imagination and expanding their understanding of the world.
The reading event made national headlines and, mostly importantly, brought attention to the Read 3 program. In the week following the event, The Kelly Clarkson Show hosted a segment with Camilla Alves McConaughey that further advanced garnered buzz and awareness. The mission and success of the event inspired the mayor of Austin, Steve Alder, to declare September 30th as “Read 3 Day” (Texas Reading Day) in an official proclamation. H-E-B is proud to announce their continuous commitment towards literacy and the future of young, Texas minds in 2023 with an all new Read 3 Read-Along that is sure to be bigger and better than the last!