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Read Across Riverbank Event Promotes Literacy
These three California Avenue Elementary students Christian A, Fabian Carreno, and Raul Ruvalcaba read the Three Little Pigs: The Wolfs Story written by Ned Jensen during Literacy Night to support Read Across America. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

March is not only the month where spring begins but it is also the month to celebrate literacy with National Read Across America 2018. Riverbank Unified School District celebrates reading all month long with weekly reading challenges, a bookmark contest, guest reader week, and the After School Programs host Literacy Night with Reader’s Theatre on Fridays that they refer to as Read Across Riverbank. These activities promote reading throughout the year and support student achievement. The After School Program (ASP) advisors organize the events.

Reader’s Theatre, hosted at California Avenue on March 2, kicked off the celebration with students from Riverbank Language Academy (RLA), Mesa Verde Elementary, and California Avenue Elementary performing different books for an audience. There is an ASP advisor at each school site that selects the books along with student input. Each school was allowed 10 minutes for their presentation. RLA gave a bilingual performance of Mañana Iguana, Mesa did Clever Lucy, and California Avenue did three short stories. The audience was entertained at times laughing, even counting along with the performers where indicated and always applauding.

“I believe reading is important in general, it’s a basic skill many need help with,” stated Bianca Lopez, ASP Advisor for California Avenue Elementary. “The more we can inspire and encourage the students to read, while making it fun, the better they will succeed. It’s important to learn to read so that they can read to learn.”

There will be two more Reader’s Theatre performances, at RLA on March 16 and at Mesa on March 23. For the past three years the ASP has coordinated Reader’s Theatre but this will be the first year that the performances will be held at Mesa and RLA.

After the Reader’s Theatre the students enjoyed activities and playing word games like Hangman, Word Scramble, Word Art, and Dr. Seuss Bingo with prizes.

From now until March 26 students at each school site will challenge each other in the same grade to read as many books as possible. There will be a weekly raffle of a book, pencil, and bookmark for each student in each grade that submits a reading log.

The Bookmark Contest began on Feb. 26 and will continue through March 16 where students can create their own bookmark that the ASP will judge and select a winner.

Guest Reader Week will be held March 19 through March 23 where community members will visit a classroom and read a book for the students.

“In the past we have had people from the city council, the District office and police officers come out to read and we are looking for more volunteers,” stated Lopez.

To sign up as a guest reader, contact Angela Gabrie at or call 209-480-1954.