Hoboken holds Drag Queen Story Hour event to spread literacy and empathy

Children in Hoboken attended a different type of story hour on Wednesday, as the city’s public library brought in a unique reader for Pride Month.
Singing, dancing and of course reading, Drag Queen Story Hour at Church Square Park in Hoboken has it all.
“We read books to kids about acceptance, being how they are, accepting others who are different and hopefully opening their minds,” says guest reader Harmonica Sunbeam.
Sponsored by the Hoboken Public Library and part of the city's Pride Month program, the story hour is all about capturing imagination, teaching diversity and empathy young, and encouraging everyone to accept and celebrate their differences and similarities.
“It’s all about acceptance. Doesn’t matter what you look like, we are here to have love in our heart for everyone,” says Jersey City resident Shannon Porter Mak.
Organizers say that the story hour event was not only mean to promote Pride, diversity and empathy at a young age, but also reading.
“Any way you can spread literacy - make it fun and super engaging. Kids are drawn to color and stories and music, what a better partner than all of our celebrations of Pride,” says Hoboken Public Library director Jennie Pu.
And even though the target audience at the Drag Queen Story Hour event is too young to read or understand what Pride Month is about, organizers say that the young minds are taking it in and already learning to have pride in who they are and have an appreciation for others.
"When we are young, people teach us kindness and we remember that throughout the years. And we can also remember not to bully other people because they are different,” says Sunbeam.
There is a New Jersey chapter of Drag Queen Story Hour, which appears at libraries, bookstores, and parks across the state. Meanwhile, the Hoboken Public Library is kicking off its annual summer reading program on Saturday.