By Annette Halpern, Teacher, Santa Paula High School
Reading was the main focus of a celebration held on June 3 to recognize the accomplishments of the top forty readers of Santa Paula High School. As reading proficiency is a major school-wide goal, teachers require that all students participate in a computerized program called the Accelerated Reader. As students pass reading comprehension tests based on the books they read, they earn points. Most of the top forty students earned at least one hundred points.
In the high school library parents, siblings, staff members, and the students themselves were treated to an array of desserts, followed by the distribution of door prizes, all donated by staff members. Annette Halpern, teacher and Accelerated Reader coordinator and Nora Perez, library assistant, handed out the awards. As the evening came to a conclusion, all guests had the opportunity to share insights about their favorite books.
The top Accelerated Reader for the 2013-14 school year was freshman Erik Nelson with 533 points. Rounding out the top ten were Nicole Mayes (305 points), Raul Peñuelas (250), Maria Ochoa (232), Mireille Vargas (228), Miranda Magana (206), Michelle Arciniega Diaz (198), Juan Perez (192), Roxxann Eckert (190), and Joey Moreno (188).
Following close behind were Lauren Lazos, Osvaldo Ambriz, Johanna Contreras, Jesus Juarez, Mayra Ruiz, Michael Balsach, Sofia Fernandez, Maria Perez, Jocelyn Lemus, Elizabeth Fernandez, Leandra Mijares, Alicia Magdaleno, Brianna Seward, and Estefany Mendoza. The remaining top readers, in descending order, included: Viviana Avelar, Andrea Fernandez, Christopher Magaña, Jonathan Paredes, Javier Valdovinos, Jailene Hernandez, Daniel Perez, Sony Resendiz, Nels Anderson, Jessica Arenas, Laura Solis, Esmeralda Herrera, Yarelin Cantu, Zayra Bautista, Ellie Acevedo, and Breana Gutierrez.
The reception was sponsored by the Santa Paula High School Parent Teacher Association, the Santa Paula Education Foundation Scholarship Fund, and the Temple Beth Torah Social Action Committee.
“For these students, reading is obviously a family affair. It was wonderful how the parents and students wanted to discuss the books they have recently read and loved,” remarked Library Assistant Nora Perez.