Library ‘pedals’ literacy

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Three young readers pedaled off into the sunset after capturing first place honors in the library’s summer reading program.

A total of six children won prizes for participating in the Socorro Public Library’s 2009 Summer Reading Program on Tuesday, July 28.

Three first-place winners won mountain bikes donated by Socorro’s Masonic Lodge No. 9. Three second-place winners won summer-themed T-shirts and books. The library initiated the contest in order to spark children’s interest in reading during the summer months; the program targeted readers from 6 to 13 years old.

Hannelore Fuierer, mother of the Teen Division first-place winner Alq Fuierer, said the contest really benefited her children.

“I’ve been a mother for more than 23 years, and this is the first year that they’ve read books in the summer,” Fuierer said. “I’d like to thank the Socorro Public Library. It’s a really great program.”

The veteran mom said that every summer she would receive lists of recommended books for her children to read. Instead, her family would go on vacation and engage in other activities that did not include reading. Her son, Alq Fuierer, is not an avid reader, however, this contest encouraged him to read 384 pages of literature this summer.

Teen Division participants were given one raffle ticket for every 200 pages read. Shortly after Alq Fuierer’s ticket was drawn, he decided to give his bike to his sister, Sabine, whom he felt was more deserving.

“She really wanted the bike. (Besides) when she rides it, she feels good about it,” he said.

Amanda Garcia’s children also fared well in the contest.

Amanda’s kids, Freddie and Victoria, took first place in their respective age divisions. Their brother, Orlando, won second place in his age division. Mom partially credits her boyfriend’s foot injury and the family’s defunct swimming pool to their interest in reading this summer.

“We didn’t have the pool up and running this summer, so between the five of us we would check out 75 books per week,” she said.

Victoria Garcia read a whopping 965 easy reader books in the Seven- to 11-year-old Division. Amanda Garcia read 940 books to 5-year-old Freddie Garcia for the 6 and Under Division. Children competing in the 6 and Under Division were credited for each book their parents read to them.

Reading, Amanda said, has always been important to her family.

“I told my son, Orlando, ‘You don’t have to sign up for the contest but you still need to read. That’s how you’re going to keep up your reading grade for next year,’” she said.

The list of contest winners are:

  • Six and Under Division: Freddie Garcia, first place; Dominic Mata, second place
  • Seven- to 11-year-old Division: Victoria Garcia, first place; Orlando P. Garcia, second place
  • Teen Division: Alq Fuierer, first place; Kelly Wang, second place