Children gathered on cowhide rugs sat eagerly and attentively waiting for the cheerful Trailblazing Committee member to read a story from the book wagon beside them. The kids sat engaged, listening as the book “Rodeo Armadillo” was read, seemingly hanging on every word.

Rodeo Read Along, presented by the Trailblazer Committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ provides children the opportunity to explore the world of books. From reading to audiences of children in Hall A of the NRG Center, to collecting book donations for underprivileged children who cannot access a library, these committee members strive to make reading fun and available to all children. The Trailblazer Committee collects and provides books through book corrals throughout the NRG Center, where rodeo visitors can get a book for free.

Susannah Compton, Trailblazer Committee member, became involved with the committee because of her passion for books and literacy. “We gather books all year round to give to the kids at the rodeo, at the end of rodeo read along,” Compton said.

Following the values of the rodeo, these books are agriculture and Western lifestyle focused. “We want kids to take away a great experience and learn something,” said Ann Massey, chairman of the Trailblazer Committee.

In addition to the Trailblazer Committee, 50 other committees help collect books year-round for this event. Thus far, they have collected 60,000 books. Sixteen thousand will be given away at the show and the rest will go to Books Between Kids, which gives books to underserved schools in Houston I.S.D that do not have a library. The volunteers have collected more than 500,000 books in the past 10 years.

Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday until the end of the HLSR, children are welcome to enjoy a book reading then grab a free book to take home after the read-along.

About the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo
The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage, and provides year-round educational support within the community. Since its beginning in 1932, the Rodeo has committed more than $600 million to the youth of Texas and education. The 2024 Rodeo is scheduled for Feb. 27 – March 17. The 2024 World’s Championship Bar-B-Que Contest, presented by Cotton Holdings, is scheduled for Feb. 22 – 24. For more information, visit and follow @RODEOHOUSTON online via Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and YouTube for all the latest news.