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'Dig Into Reading' encourages summer reading

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
June 5, 2013 at 1:05 a.m.
Updated June 6, 2013 at 1:06 a.m.

Volunteer reader Ashley Kazmir leads the group in the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" during Mother Goose Story Time at the Jackson County Memorial Library in Edna.

Volunteer reader Ashley Kazmir leads the group in the song "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" during Mother Goose Story Time at the Jackson County Memorial Library in Edna.   Frank Tilley for The Victoria Advocate

EDNA - Once upon a time, children loved to read.

Ashley Kazmir, of Edna, believes that time can also be now.

The 26-year-old stay-at-home mom volunteers often at the Jackson County Memorial Library.

A few weeks ago, she was the library's Mother Goose Story Time guest reader.

In a chair, surrounded by a group of smaller children in much smaller chairs, Kazmir read aloud, "That's Not My Puppy" and "Buzz-Buzz, Busy Bees."

She also led the group in the "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" children's song. As one of the library's biggest supporters, Kazmir soon plans to support an even bigger reading event - the library's annual summer reading program, themed "Dig Into Reading" this year.

On June 14, the summer reading program kicks off with the Texas Snake Man, Clint Pustejovsky, who will be a guest reader.

Kazmir's 22-month-old son, Caleb, isn't quite old enough to read, she said.

But that doesn't stop the young mom from bringing him to the library and reading to him audibly as often as possible.

"I read to him all the time. He loves it," she said. "I started volunteering here because I wanted him to meet other little kids and so that he would learn to love reading early."

Library Director Cherie Robinson said the summer reading event is the one of the largest reading program in the Crossroads.

It attracts hundreds of readers of all ages each week to the Jackson County Services Building auditorium, where "Dig Into Reading" will be held each Friday.

During the week, the summer readers are encouraged to log their total pages and books read. At the end of the four-week program, trophies are awarded in different age categories for the busiest readers.

"Kids come from all over to be a part of this. It's really exciting for them," Robinson said. "Things like this get their attention more so than a teacher telling them to read."

This year's special guest readers are Pustejovsky on June 14; Lucas Miller, The Singing Zoologist, on June 21; Consuelo Samarripa, a bilingual storyteller, on June 28; and P.J. Hoover, a Texas young adult literature author, on July 25.

Free reading logs can be picked up at the library beginning Friday.

Parents are encouraged to participate in the event with their children, Robinson said.

"Hopefully, the kids will get an idea of what books have to offer. It takes them to a place in their imagination, and when you read a book, you go to that place," Robinson said.

The event is open to pre-schoolers through high school-aged students. For the younger children, Robinson said, parents can read to their children, and it still counts toward their pages read.

"Dig Into Reading" is open to the community at no cost.

"It's really big and always a lot of fun," Kazmir said.



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