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Guest Reader Week Engages Riverbank Students
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Riverbank City Council Vice Mayor Darlene Barber Martinez is shown here with Ms. Folks third grade class at Mesa Verde Elementary where she read “Fables.” Photo Contributed
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Mesa Verde Elementary had guest readers last week to encourage reading during Read Across Riverbank like students in Ms. Northern’s third grade class shown here. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS
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Stanislaus County Office of Education staff member Erika Perry read to first graders at Riverbank Language Academy this past week. Photo Contributed

Students in Riverbank had a special treat this past week with a visit from several individuals that volunteered to read them a story. Project A.C.T.I.O.N. (After School Care Together In Our Neighborhood) After School Program (ASP) hosted the event as they have for several years to promote reading along with several other activities throughout the month of March.

In celebration of the National Read Across America event that began with the observance of Dr. Seuss’s birthday earlier this month, pages were turning at schools throughout the community. The After School Program does not stop there, as they also have literacy activities all month long like the guest reader week.

ASP Advisor Bianca Lopez organized the event for the first time this year. Although not all the teachers received a visit from a guest reader there were over 20 volunteers. The volunteers were from throughout the community like ASP leaders, RUSD staff, Modesto Nuts, Riverbank Library, Oakdale Leader, Stanislaus County Office of Education, CSU Stanislaus, and the City of Riverbank.

“It went well, there were very few teachers I was not able to get guest readers for,” said Lopez. “This is my first year assigning guest readers to teachers and reaching out to the community. I could have done a better job, and I am now more appreciative of Angela’s hard work the previous years. Since Angela is no longer with ASP, I took on the task this year.”

RUSD Assistant Superintendent Christine Facella read to kindergarteners at California Avenue Elementary last week. Librarian Vicky Holt and staffer Maria Solis encouraged reading by volunteering to read at California Avenue and Riverbank Language Academy. Riverbank’s City Council Vice Mayor Darlene Barber Martinez read to California Avenue kindergarten students on Tuesday and then Ms. Folk’s third grade class at Mesa Verde Elementary on Thursday.

“I love how our vice mayor took time out of her busy schedule to come read to us,” stated Folks. “What a great example of how reading is important! Everyone loved it! I would love to have a guest reader every week.”

California Avenue Elementary, Mesa Verde Elementary and Riverbank Language Academy received visits throughout the week and some guests even read a couple of books to their classes.

“I think it’s a great way to see community members participate in our schools, even if it is just to read,” added Lopez. “Students enjoy seeing these people when they are out and about and it helps them make connections to the real world. It was a good variety of community members.”

After the books are read the students are allowed to ask a few questions and discuss the book further.

The Bookmark Contest this week will wrap the festivities and another successful month of Read Across Riverbank will conclude.