United Way of Northern Cameron County plans to provide Harlingen CISD with a generous donation of about $8,000 in books for all Pre-K and Kindergarten students.

United Way was selected to receive the grant from First Book, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing early literacy programs in communities of need. First Book’s intended mission is to remove barriers that “stand in the way for kids in low-income communities, including scarce books and learning materials and a lack of diversity in books that do reach them,” according to its website.

Harlingen CISD will receive the books this school year to further enhance its successful kinder readiness rate, which is above the state average.

“With his award, we will be able to bring new, high-quality, contemporary books to the kids we serve,” said Kathy Preddy.

United Way’s Resource Development Director. “This will make a tangible difference as we work to spark a love of reading and enable the book access which is essential to learning.”

All Pre-K and Kinder students who receive the books will be able to take them home.

“By giving the books, we think it will make a statement and increase their awareness of reading,” Preddy said. “Taking it home will make an impression on their family too.”

HCISD’s Primary Literacy Director Carmen Alvarez will strategically select the books through funding provided by United Way and First Books.

Across the U.S., First Books will give more than $4.7 in funding for new books, allocating a portion to HCISD.

Providing free books to children, including to HCISD students, is an investment “not only in the future of the kids we’re reading but in the overall wellbeing of our nation” said Kyle Zimmer president of the First Book organization.

HCISD will receive the books for distribution in December.