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Little Book Bins Aim to Turn Kids into Big Readers



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Kids in one central Fresno neighborhood won’t have to travel far if they’re looking for something to read this summer. A Little Book Bin was installed at Mayfair Elementary last Tuesday, the first of many to come.

Check out my other School Zone columns at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

The goal is to encourage kids to read more and boost their literacy skills, which have flagged for many students because of the pandemic.

The Little Book Bin that now sits on a sidewalk next to Mayfair is a repainted and repurposed newspaper vending box, but youngsters won’t need to drop in a couple of quarters to pull out one of the free books inside. Students are asked to return them once they’ve read them so other students also may enjoy them.

The project is in partnership with Reading Heart, Every Neighborhood Partnership, and CalViva Health.

Little Book Bin near Mayfair School (FUSD)

Little Book Bins will be installed at Vang Pao Elementary School this summer and at other sites throughout the 2021-22 school year.

Also in School Zone: 

  • Clovis Soroptimist program gives a boost to teens facing challenges.
  • More winners of California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation scholarships.

‘Dream It, Be It’ Soroptimist Program Aids Teens

The Soroptimist International of Clovis found a way to give high school teens an extra boost through the “Dream It, Be It; Career Support for Girls” program, even in the midst of the pandemic.

The organization, with the assistance of Clovis Unified School District and San Joaquin Memorial High School, recruited 10 girls to participate over five weeks via Zoom and at a local park. Soroptimist club members and guest speakers presented the Dream It, Be It curriculum, which includes setting goals, overcoming obstacles, exploring careers, and self-care.

Each girl also was encouraged to become a student facilitator for the next session of Dream It, Be It.

The club continued to work with the Clovis Unified Transition Team for Alternative Education High School Programs to identify and provide support for girls facing extra challenges, such as those who are homeless or in foster care.

One of the program’s more fun moments was when two Gateway High graduating seniors living in group homes, Avery and DJ, were treated to graduation hair styling and makeup when the Clovis Soroptimists partnered with Elle Style Bar in Old Town Clovis.

Avery entered Gateway in January, determined to graduate on time in June. She earned 70 credits, enough to graduate, and also won a scholarship for her hard work. She plans to attend Fresno City College to become a radiology technician.

Girls from Gateway High and San Joaquin Memorial High met at Bicentennial Park in Clovis to pick up their DIBI workbooks and materials. (Soroptimist International of Clovis)

Four Valley Students Get $5,000 for College

Four of the 51 students selected for California Latino Legislative Caucus Foundation $5,000 scholarships in 2021 are from right here in the Valley. They were selected from among 762 applicants.

You may have already read my GV Wire colleague David Taub’s report in his “Politics 101” column that Kingsburg City Councilwoman Jewel Hurtado was one of the scholarship winners. She plans to attend CSU Bakersfield.

School Zone wants to make sure the other three scholarship winners get their much-deserved recognition. They are:

  • Ernest G. Lopez of Hanford, attending College of the Sequoias in Visalia.
  • Judith Magana of Porterville, attending Cal State Fullerton.
  • Asim Wahad of Kerman, attending UC Berkeley.

The scholarship winners were selected based on academic performance, personal statements, extracurricular activities, leadership positions held, special awards and honors, and work history. Incoming as well as current college students were eligible to apply. Details about the 2022 scholarship program will be posted early next year on the foundation’s website.

School Zone says congrats!

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email