Writers to Put in a Good Word for Reading : One of the aims of the event, which will be held at Fullerton Public Library, is to share with youths the 'joys of literature.'

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Three Latino authors--Ruben Martinez, Marisela Norte and Francisco Ortega--will read and sign their books Saturday at the Fullerton Public Library.

The event--hosted by the Orange County chapter of REFORMA, the National Assn. to Promote Library Services to the Spanish Speaking--is a fund-raiser for the chapter's annual scholarship program.

The readings will begin at 7 p.m. in the library, 353 W. Commonwealth Ave. Admission is a tax-deductible donation of $10, or $5 for students.

Martinez, a journalist and co-host of KCET's "Life and Times," is the author of "The Other Side," a compilation of his observations of life in Los Angeles and on the other side of the border.

Norte, a well-known "spoken-word artist" from East Los Angeles, has had her work featured in various journals and magazines and on "Norte-Word" and "Black and Tan Club," two spoken-word cassettes.

Ortega, who grew up in East Los Angeles and lives in Santa Ana, is co-author of "Five Orange County Poets," a collection of poems by local poets.

The reading is one of a number of events sponsored by the REFORMA chapter, whose activities include a mentor program in UCLA's department of library and information science.

Scholarship funds also are raised through the sale of buttons bearing the words "Leer Es Poder" (Reading Is Power).

"That's the message we're trying to convey," says chapter member Anthony Garcia, 30, a Santa Ana resident who earned a bachelor's degree in public relations from Cal State Fullerton and is working on his master's degree through an extension program of the San Jose University School of Library and Information Science.

The REFORMA chapter recently participated in "KinderCaminata," a career fair held at Rancho Santiago College in Santa Ana designed to encourage kindergarten children and their parents to plan for a college education.

Two thousand youngsters turned out for the fair, many of them stopping by REFORMA's booth.

"Kids think of being teachers, policemen and firemen, but librarianship isn't always something they think of to pursue," says Garcia, adding that many children become disillusioned with school and that kindergarten is not too young to get them to begin thinking about their futures.

"We try to convey that librarianship is also a career that a child can pursue with pride," says Garcia, who works part time as a library assistant at the college.

He also works part time on the Santa Ana Public Library's bookmobile, which goes to elementary schools, where he reads to young students in English and Spanish.

"Basically," Garcia says, "I'm sharing the joys of literature and introducing them to reading and the library."

He adds: "I think I'm sharing something that is valuable to the community. I'm not saying everyone is cut out to be a librarian, but I'm saying literature and appreciating reading and just knowing how to read are basically the key to success in any field."

For more information about the fund-raiser, call (714) 564-6718.

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As director of inpatient psychiatric hospital programs for adolescents at three Southern California hospitals from 1977 to 1992, Darrell J. Burnett dealt with teen-agers who were depressed, suicidal, drug users and runaways.

And the majority of them, the Laguna Niguel psychologist discovered, had one thing in common: "The kids that really could have used some self-esteem bolstering had dropped out of organized sports" when they were younger.

At a time when they should have been having fun, Burnett says, they experienced the opposite: pressure, embarrassment, yelling coaches, screaming parents.

"Had they stayed in sports, there was a better chance they could get some self-esteem," says Burnett, a father of three and a youth league coach. "My thought was, if these kids all dropped out, let's see what we can do to make sports more positive for kids in those early ages, so they don't want to drop out."

In 1991, Burnett's first effort at helping ensure that kids have positive experiences with organized sports came in the form of a booklet, "The Art of Being a Successful Youth League Manager-Coach."

Now he's expanded his ideas--and changed his target market--into a paperback book, "Youth, Sports and Self Esteem: A Guide for Parents" (Masters Press, Spalding Sports Library; $12.95).

The book, which applies Burnett's ideas on positive parenting to help make youth sports a positive experience, focuses on self-esteem.

"Research shows," says Burnett, "that if kids stay in organized sports, they get a better chance of staying out of trouble and they also get a sense of achievement."

Organized youth sports, he says, are also "a family thing: With all the talk of family values, this is a perfect opportunity for families to be involved with each other in family activities."

Chapter headings underscore Burnett's message to parents whose children are involved in organized sports: "Keep It Positive," "Step Into Their Shoes," "Notice Any and All Progress," "Show Excitement and Enthusiastic Praise," "Offer a Good Example," "Set Reasonable Expectations" and "Remember to Have Fun."

The book also includes a 20-item checklist for parents to review their attitudes and behavior toward kids in sports. Such as:

* I praise my kids just for participating in sports, regardless of their athletic skills.

* I treat my kids with respect, avoiding put-downs, sarcasm or ridicule, on the field or off.

* I remember to look for, and make a "big deal" out of, positives with my kids, on and off the field.

"Youth, Sports and Self Esteem" is available in local bookstores or by contacting the publisher at (800) 722-2677.

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Jeff Jensen of Huntington Beach says in his new book that the California Department of Real Estate has stated that "many of the approximately 40,000 Californians who lost their homes through foreclosure (in one year) could have avoided that loss had they been informed about the process and the actions available to them."

That's the reason Jensen has written "How to Fight Foreclosure and Win With Honor" (Jensen Publications; $19.95).

The 450-page book provides homeowners in foreclosure with what Jensen calls "five simple steps" to discover the best solution to their particular situation. It also includes a 70-page workbook, forms, glossary, index and cross-referencing and the foreclosure laws.

The book currently is available only from the publisher. For more information, call (800) REMEDY-8.

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To avoid a "double loss" when disaster strikes, Craig Delfs says, people need a written inventory record of their real and personal property.

Delfs is president of CRD Industries of San Juan Capistrano, which has published a Property Inventory Record booklet. The $12.95 booklet provides a step-by-step inventory outline for itemizing real and personal property, including sections covering house, insurance policies, insurance limits, personal property and other items. For more information, call (714) 661-8027.

"Our goal," says Delfs, "is to provide people with a useful tool for avoiding disputes with their insurance company over proof and value of their property."

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