Monthly program invites families and young children to read together

On the last Thursday of the month, the Boldt Elementary School library attracts a younger crowd.

Librarian Dinorah Velazquez hosts Future Lil’ Mavericks and invites two to five year olds (and parents) to visit for story time, a craft activity, and a snack. Families can also look for books to check out and bring home.

“We came up with the name Future Lil' Mavericks because we wanted them not only to enjoy reading at a young age, but hopefully, Boldt ES will be their future campus,” Velazquez said. “It’s a great way to introduce them to the library as a fun and inviting place to hang out and read.”

Parents and little children sitting on floor listening to librarian read book

For some families, it’s their first experience in a Northside ISD school. For others, their older children already attend Boldt.

Anthony Ibanez and his wife Jeanette brought their three and a half year old son Nicolai. The military family found out about Lil’ Mavericks through a flyer shared in their subdivision’s Facebook group.

Mom, dad, little boy working on craft activity at table

“We thought it would be empty but it’s packed,” Ibanez said. “It’s amazing to see the kids and their families.”

The most recent event, which lasts about 30 minutes, focused on the children’s book The Biggest Kiss. The rhyming story features a penguin so children and families then made their own penguins to take home. The snack included a Hershey’s chocolate kiss.

First-time visitors have their pictures taken and the children color a paper horseshoe. The Lil’ Mavericks display on the wall shows how many different children have taken part in activities since story time began last year.

Little girl sitting for photo in library

Damon Hill came for the second time with his three year old daughter and wife. Their older son is in kindergarten at Boldt. Hill volunteers with the Watch D.O.G.S. and PTA, but likes the opportunity for his daughter to hear stories and meet other children.

“Every time they have this, we’re going to be here,” Hill said. “It’s another way to connect and interact with my child.”

Father holding little girl in lap on floor listening to story

Marcelina Cantu and her daughter Scarlett were also first-time visitors.

“We’d never been to Boldt before,” Cantu said. “I liked the security lobby and my daughter couldn’t stop talking about the colorful entrance. I remember sending my older kids to school for the first time and they had no clue what to expect, but she’ll be prepared.”

Like many of the adults attending for the first time, Ibanez and Cantu didn’t know they would be able to check out books from the library.

“I’m excited to bring home the Christmas books,” Cantu said. “My daughter is still stuck on Halloween.”

Woman with tray giving snack to little girl

Though it’s still a couple years away, the Lil’ Mavericks are getting ready for their educational journey.

“These children are all future Boldt Mavericks,” Hill said. “By the time they walk through the doors as students, they’ll already be comfortable and not afraid. This will be their second home.”