Reading captivates the imagination

June 27, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE

Staff Writer

CALEXICO — The way some people remember their first kiss, Sandra Tauler, Calexico's head librarian, remembers the first time she was moved by an author's work.

The book was "Where the Red Fern Grows" by Wilson Rawls.

Before she read the story of a boy's relationship with his two hunting dogs, Tauler had never much cared for reading. After finishing the book, and dabbing her eyes, Tauler realized books could evoke powerful emotions.

She called the realization a magical moment, for it sparked her life-long love of reading.

Tauler hopes Calexico's kids experience that same magic moment this summer during the 2002 summer reading program at Camarena Memorial Library and the library's William Moreno Junior High branch.


Throughout July, more than 300 kids will read thousands of books, some in English, others in Spanish.

After they find the one book that first captivates their imagination, reading won't be a chore for the kids but something to look forward to, Tauler said.

For the kids who haven't yet found that one book, Tauler has set up three reading clubs that reward kids for being voracious readers.

Kids 0-5 can participate in the "Read-to-Me Club." This group allows children who are too young to read to experience literature via the reassuring voices of parents and grandparents.

Grammar school-age children are invited to join the aptly named "Reading Club."

Activities for both clubs are hosted by library staffers each day of the week except Sundays until Aug. 1. The activity start time at the Willie Moreno branch is 12:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. start for the Camarena crowd.

Kids participating in the Reading Club get a prize for every 10 books they read and after they've read their first 10 they are entered into a competition against kids in their own grade.

Top readers will be lauded at an award ceremony on Aug. 1.

On Fridays the two libraries sponsor activities for the Teen Reading Club.

"They do more elaborate stuff; more cool stuff," Tauler said.

Tauler one day hopes to sign up 1,000 kids and teens for the summer reading program. To do that she is trying to get the word out about all the fun things going on at the library.

"I keep hearing that there is nothing to do, nothing to do, but anyone who comes to the library, they'll find something different something they'll enjoy," she said.

Those who take Tauler up on her offer and visit the library will be able to pick up a new library card as well. The library recently ordered some snazzy new cards, one for older readers and a colorful one for kids. Both cards come with little mini-cards that can be attached to a key-ring.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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