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EatPlayGrow™ and HEB Read 3

2017 May 2
by Kyla Hunt

In April I had the pleasure of facilitating a panel at TLA with representatives of EatPlayGrow™ and HEB Read 3 on connecting early childhood health and fitness with literacy in public and school libraries.

The panelists included:

  • Christa Aldrich (HEB Read 3)
  • Hermelinda Hesbrook (HEB)
  • Christina Thompson (Harris County Public Library North Channel Branch)
  • Jill Tenhaken (Harris County Public Health DSRIP)
  • Deanna Belleny (Harris County Public Health – Project Lead – Obesity Reduction)

I was so impressed with these speakers and programs that I wanted to take a moment to highlight the programs and how they work with libraries.


EatPlayGrow™ is a curriculum initially developed by the National Institutes of Health and the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and implemented in collaboration with Harris County Public Health. The program was held at the Harris County Public Library’s North Channel, Aldine, and Parker Williams branches. According to the website, the curriculum, developed for children 6 years and younger along with their families, “This curriculum combines the latest science and research from the NIH with CMOM’s holistic arts and literacy-based pedagogy to engage families and adults who work with young children with creative programs and consistent health messages in informal and formal learning environments” (

The website from the Children’s Museum of Manhattan provides pages for all 11 lessons, including recipes, literacy and art connections, and videos for each lessons. My favorite lesson, and the lesson that the panel indicated often sticks with children easily, is titled GO, SLOW, WHOA!, labeling foods by how often you should ideally eat them.

Interested in starting an EatPlayGrow™ program at your library? Start out at the NIH page for EatPlayGrow™.

HEB Read 3

HEB Read 3 is an initiative by the HEB grocery chain in 2011 aiming to respond the children’s literacy needs by attempting to have families read to them three times per week. This is partly in response to the fact that “Texas has one of the country’s highest rates of children under the age of five not read to regularly – an unacceptable 26% of kids!” (

There are several avenues to accomplish this available on their website, including

Interested partnering with HEB Read 3? Start out at the HEB Read 3 page.

Want more resources on health and/or literacy? Check out the following resources and organizations mentioned by the panelists for possible partnerships:

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