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Fort Worth, TX, April 2022 – Harris County Public Library won the Texas Library Association’s LibrariesJennifer Bacall (l) and Anjela Martinez accept the Libraries Change Communities Award at the Texas Library Association 2022 Annual Conference in Ft. Worth. Change Communities Award, for their innovative Growing Readers project.

This project is a county-wide initiative designed to prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school. The Growing Readers project is a comprehensive program that gives parents and caregivers the tools, know-how, and resources to make everyday activities into fun, enriching learning experiences for families with young children.  

Growing Readers was designed by HCPL staff experts in early literacy and childhood development with the goal of increasing school-readiness for children across the county, with the specific hope of serving families with limited access to educational resources. The five Early Literacy practices (Talk, Read, Sing, Write, Play) of enhancing learning are featured in the program. These practices are emphasized in story times and programs and are the focal points of staff-created resources.  

HCPL Director Edward Melton said, “We want every child in Harris County to be school-ready.” According to the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation report "Houston's Literacy Crisis: A Blueprint for Community Action,” 60 percent of Houston-area children enter kindergarten each year lacking requisite reading skills. By helping parents with the skills and resources needed to get their child kindergarten-ready with the Growing Readers program, HCPL is helping build the children’s capacity for ongoing literacy success.

Texas Library Association LogoFor more information, contactWendy Woodland, Director of Communications and Advocacy for TLA, at

About the Texas Library Association

TLA is the largest state library association in the country with approximately 6,000 members who work in public, school, academic, and special libraries and who support educational institutions. TLA offers a wide range of services, including advocacy, continuing education, research, and public relations. To learn more about TLA, visit or call 512-328-1518.

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