By Anne Gibson

Across the Vail School District and beyond, all elementary and some middle school students celebrated Love of Reading Week from March 2nd to the 6th. The week long annual program is designed to encourage young readers to become life time lovers of books.

“It is very likely that our children will work in jobs and careers that don’t yet exist. The ability to read well and think critically will persist regardless of our changing times. Love of Reading Week celebrates the importance of this critical life skill,” said Vail School District Superintendent John Carruth. Superintendent Carruth is a native Tucsonan who began his career in the Vail School District in 1995 as a special education teacher at Old Vail Middle School. He served as Assistant/Associate Superintendent beginning in 2003. In January 2020, he was appointed by the Vail School District Governing Board to replace Calvin Baker as superintendent upon his retirement.

Down the road at Copper Ridge Elementary school in Corona de Tucson 16 classes were participating in “Camp Read-a-Lot” with fun events developed by GinaMarie Axford, a kinder teacher at the school.

Love of Reading Week inspires our youngest readers to fall in love with reading.

It begins with readers being introduced to many different genres such as fiction, non-fiction, mysteies, and poetry while doing a book “tasting.”  Tables are set up with different book genres at each table. Readers visit each table and “taste” explore the different genres, explained Ms. Axford.

On yet another day, the young readers get to explore reading in different ways, like with a flashlight, inside a tent, or with a favoite stuffed animal.

“We want young readers to realize reading isn’t just about going to school and reading. Reading is for enjoyment and learning about our world,” continued Ms. Axford.

Finally, the young readers get to meet guest readers who share their favorite stories and encourage students to read.

Back down the road in Vail at Acacia Elementary School, 29 classes had students participating in Love of Reading Week coordinated by school teachers Susan Marko and Marie Gabrielsen.

“Reading is so very important to students and to their future, and we want them to gather the love of reading. Reading is so important because it helps with fluency, language acquistion as well as comprehension, all the tools necessary in students education in elementary school as well as continued education. Reading also creates a students imagination and creativity which directly correlates to students writing and the enjoyment of literature.  Our district and teachers do a great job exposing our students to varies literature, from fiction to non-fiction. Our Love of Reading Week highlights the love of reading and shows the students how much we value reading and how as adults we still read ourselves,” said Jason Campos principal of Acacia Elementary School.

Guest readers included Vail Superintendent John Carruth, television personalities, first responders, readers from the Southeast Library, and community leaders

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Anne Gibson