YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsHeber

Party ends Heber summer reading program

August 25, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

HEBER — While most kids spent their summer vacations playing with friends, watching television and sleeping in late, a group of students here racked up some 200 hours on an activity not often associated with kids' summer breaks.


A party complete with cake and balloons marked the end of Heber's first summer reading program at the local branch of the Imperial County Free Library.

"I read a lot," said Nicole Theobald, 10.

Nicole, who lives in La Mesa, has been visiting her grandmother in Heber this summer and playing with her friend Tania Perdomo, 10, of Heber.

Nicole said she and Tania came to the library one day "and it was fun and it just got funner."

One book the girls particularly enjoyed was Debbie Dadey's "Vampires Don't Wear Polka Dots," the story of a group of kids who discover their teacher is a vampire. With the help of a book from their local library, the kids learn to use garlic and crosses to rid themselves of their evil teacher, Nicole explained.


"It was good," Tania said.

"And it was scary," Nicole added.

Tania logged 31 hours of reading during the summer reading program. Nicole wasn't an official participant, but it didn't stop her from reading more books than she could count.

Not only can books help students fend off vampire teachers, they can help readers academically, the kids said.

"They increase our knowledge," said Tania's brother, Jose Luis Perdomo, 13.

Jose Luis, also a summer reading participant, said he likes reading for the educational aspect of it.

"You learn more, that's what I think. I learn new words, new expressions," Jose Luis said.

Imperial County Librarian Connie Barrington agreed with Jose Luis about reading's benefits.

Research has shown that students improve academically by reading during summer break, Barrington said.

"They learn a lot. It's like an open door," said Heber branch librarian Lorenza Carpenter.

Carpenter said she expects more kids to participate in the program during its second year next summer.

The summer reading programs throughout the county are fun for kids for several reasons, Barrington said.

"You're getting to read what you want to read, not like in school where you're assigned a book," Barrington said.

"And there's a little sense of competition," she added.

"It's sort of fun to be recognized for something you do," Barrington said.

The 15 participants received school supplies and gift certificates to Sizzler restaurant.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles