SOLEDAD — Last week members of the Soledad Rotary International Club visited San Vicente Elementary School in the Soledad Union School District on a quest to spread the love of reading to first-graders.
The Rotary Club raised money so that they could purchase books for the students who attended. The club read to the four classes in the school library.
The students of Alicia Arriaga, Pilar Viveros, Priscilla Thomas and Beatriz Mozqueda’s classrooms knew they were going to the library to be read to but had no idea they would be taking a surprise back to their class with them.
Waiting for students were Rotary President April Liedtke, Rotary member and Soledad Superintendent Jorge Guzman and San Vicente Interim Principal Michelle Farrer. There were also more than 100 books in different reading levels, perfect for the first-grade readers.
Books from the National Geographic — “Who Would Win: Killer Whales Vs Great White Shark” or “Polar Bear Vs Grizzly” or even “Tyrannosaurs Vs Velociraptor” — were very popular, as well as “Dragons Love Tacos,” “If You Give a Dog a Donut” and “If You Give a Pig a Pancake.”
“We select the books, which are actually a range in readability,” Guzman said. “There are some that are easy, some are medium and some are chapter books. So we know and recognize that some of the first-graders are reading above grade level.”
For those students, they had the “Magic Tree House” series and “Charlotte’s Web.”
As the classes came into the room, it was like controlled chaos, as the students were split into groups of four to five students per table.
Excitement filled the room when Guzman told the children they were giving them a free book. Volunteers from the schools, Rotary and Rabobank read to them.
“They all want you to read their book,” said Rotary President Liedtke with a smile. “So I read a couple pages from each book to them.”
Soledad Rotary has also given out thousands of dictionaries to the fourth-grade students in the district.
Dictionaries are useful to all students and more specifically to English language learners and those living below the poverty level. In addition, having dictionaries on hand means that parents and guardians will be in a better position to assist with their child’s homework.
In doing so, they will also become more competent learners and teachers of their child.