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Young readers rewarded

Readin,’ ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic are the three basic skills taught in schools "” and readin’ is listed first.

The Laguna Beach Library programs encourage youngsters to acquire that important skill for enjoyment as well as a tool of learning and rewards them for their efforts. Almost 50 youngsters were awarded medals Saturday in Bluebird Park for completing the library’s Summer Reading Program for children.

“I read every day," said medalist Logan Williams, 8. “My favorite book was ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid.’ "

Williams was among the 31 boys and 15 girls who were presented medals by firefighters Tom Padden, Don Kalscheuer, Chip Gilmore and Pat Brennan, not to mention the hot dogs and hamburgers they grilled before the awards were presented.

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The awards were for reading or being read to for a minimum of 20 hours between June 23 and Aug. 15. A total of 360 children, from toddlers to pre-teens, participated in the program.

“The age limits were birth, where we encourage parents to start reading to their children, to 12," Children’s Librarian Rebecca Porter said.

Medal recipients included 3 1/2 -year-old Reid Rabara and his brother Ben, 2, whose parents, Paul and Heather, read to the boys for about an hour a day, Dad in the morning and Mom at night; Ron Ellis’s kids, Anthony, 11, Marie, 10, and Matthew, 9; Ellis neighbor Enrique Palacios, 7; and Tatiana Moore, 6, who read 18 books.

"[Tatiana] has been reading since she was 5," her mother Lydia said. “She went through the Saddleback College Reading Institute Program.

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“See Pip Point" was her favorite book this summer.

William’s favorite was on the hot list.

“‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ was very big this year," recently appointed Branch Manager Jenny Gasset said. “There’s a sequel and the third one is coming out this fall."

Besides the medals, the young readers were awarded raffle tickets for every five hours of reading.

Matt Ellis won a mechanical singing bird with moving parts, which he displayed at the barbecue. His friend Enrique won a model of the “Titanic."

Medalists also included Elizabeth and Michael Pink. They were accompanied by their mother, Elizabeth, and grandparents, Howard and Nancy Pink, board members of the Friends of the Library, which raises money for programs and purchases.

Funds are raised through the sale of books donated to the Friends Book Store, under the library at 363 Glenneyre St., $20 annual membership fees, and the annual dinner and book auction. The store opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and closes at 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and at 3 p.m. the other three days.

“Staying open late has added an extra couple of hundred dollars a month to the coffers," Friends President Martha Lydick said Saturday.

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Lydick, Vice President Sandy Hovanesian, Secretary Peggy Ford and Angela Irish represented the Friends at the barbecue. Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl Kinsman also attended.

“I’d like to thank the Friends for providing the funds for Summer Reading Program and for the barbecue," said Porter, the face of the library for the children.

Porter organized the program and, with assistance from Nadine Suess "” almost the perfect name "” organized the barbecue.

“Rebecca does such a wonderful job with the children’s section, which is so important to our library and to the kids," Lydick said.

The barbecue was highlighted by the unveiling of a new “dollhouse" bank created by Beverly Mosier, to replace the one stolen in July and never recovered.

“That was very sad," Melissa Williams said. “I can’t figure out how they got it out of the library."

Williams and her son, Logan, were the first contributors to the new bank, which comes equipped with a lock to attach it to the counter. Donations benefit the children’s section.

For more information about the children’s reading programs, call (949) 497-1732. For more information about the Friends of the Library, call (949) 497-7053. New members and volunteers are welcomed.

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BARBARA DIAMOND can be reached at (949) 494-4321 or coastlinepilot@latimes.com.


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