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Commissioners Court unanimously passed a proclamation declaring Feb. 1 as World Read Aloud Day to promote literacy, with observances held on both Jan. 31 and throughout the month of February.Accepting the Proclamation was McAllen Public Library Director and President of the Hidalgo County Library System Kate Horan where she encouraged all citizens to read aloud and to take advantage of county's E-Library, an online collection of books, audiobooks, and magazines launched back in August 2017.Since its launch, usage has skyrocketed. Checkouts have increased by 1,972 percent and registered users have increased by 446 percent, with an average of 325 new registered users per quarter."Reading aloud to children improves their vocabulary so they can become good communicators and do better in school," said Horan.Celebrated globally, World Read Aloud Day is an ongoing effort advocating for literacy as a human right.Hidalgo County Judge Richard F. Cortez will join McAllen Mayor Jim Darling and others in reading aloud to children at the McAllen Public Library on Jan. 3 at 6 p.m."This is a great honor," Cortez said. "I look forward to the opportunity in reading to the children of Hidalgo County."E-Library is a major initiative to promote literacy and demonstrate a commitment to providing literacy opportunities to residents of all ages and abilities, giving them the opportunity to download and read books anywhere they can access the Internet."We will be reaching out to all the Commissioners to invite them to read aloud at various locations," said Horan.
Photo Caption: L - R: Pct. 4 Commissioner Ellie Torres, Pct. 3 Commissioner Joe M. Flores, County Judge Richard F. Cortez, Pct. 2 Commissioner Eduardo "Eddie" Cantu, Pct. 1 Commissioner David L. Fuentes, and McAllen Public Library Director and President of the Hidalgo County Library System Kate P. Horan.