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Raymond Castillo

Reading Level Soars with Library Program’s Help

Like many energy‐fueled, precocious six‐year‐old boys, Raymond Castillo rarely wanted to slow down to do his homework. The world held much more intriguing prospects.

For his mother Lorena, it was a constant struggle to get Raymond to complete his school assignments on time. So, when Raymond asked to go to the Logan Heights Library to attend a movie screening he had heard about at school, Lorena jumped at the chance to foster this new interest in libraries – even if it was to watch a movie.

Once they visited, Lorena and Raymond were introduced to was the Summer Reading Program. The popular program boosts reading skills and keeps students learning during the summer by offering incentives, including tickets to a San Diego Padres game, to encourage children to pick up a book and achieve their reading goals.

With the school year coming to an end, Lorena was concerned she could not afford a full‐time summer camp or educational program. The Summer Reading Program seemed like a great solution and Raymond agreed.

“The whole package was so exciting to Raymond,” Lorena says. “He loved filling out his reading logs, getting the various presents and attending the activities at our library. He was so proud of his accomplishments.”

Last year, 36,000 children and teens participated in the Summer Reading Program, a 30 percent increase over two years ago.

By the end of the summer, Raymond had achieved his lofty goal of reading 10 books per week – 100 books in all. He regularly brags to family, friends and teachers of this accomplishment.

And Lorena has seen Raymond’s participation in the program pay dividends in the classroom. He now reads more than a full grade level ahead of where he was before starting the program, actively participates in school and looks forward to going to the library each Saturday to check out new books.

“He can’t wait for next summer’s program to start,” says Lorena.

Following his participation in the Library’s Summer Reading Program, six-year-old Raymond now reads a full grade level ahead of where he was before starting the program.