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188 read to Ceres students
Ceres Rotary Club hosts annual Read-In
2018 Ceres Read-in R Ciszek
Rebecca Ciszek reads to third-graders of Mrs. Cruz at Adkison Elementary School during the annual Ceres Rotary Read-In event. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

Approximately 6,000 kindergartners to sixth-graders were read to by 188 readers who visited 250 classrooms during the Friday, March 23 Ceres Rotary Read-In. Club officials say it was the largest turn-out in the 27-year history of the program.

Reading from 160 books purchased for the program, readers included 98 Ceres Rotary Club and community members and 90 Rotary-sponsored Interact Clubs and high school students. After the books were read, they were donated to the respective school libraries.

To date, more than 3,000 books have been donated to Ceres school libraries over the 27 years.

For the fifth consecutive year, Cesar Chavez Junior High School drama students "performed" their assigned book through a "Reader's Theater Program." They have now performed in 12 of the 13 school sites.

The Central Valley High School Interact Club is in its twelfth consecutive year of participating in Rotary Read-in.

Rotarian Dave Hosmer shared that he reads each year at Caswell Elementary School, where he started school 60 years ago. This year he read to a first grade class which was the same classroom he was taught in by Mrs. Franklin during his 1958-59 school year.

In addition to the Read-in program, Ceres Rotary honors guest speakers by donating over 30 books a year to Salvation Army's Red Shield Community Center's Youth Library in south Modesto. Each guest speaker signs the bookplate. These two programs, along with the club's annual gift of a hardbound dictionary to every third-grader in Ceres Unified School District, supports Rotary's goal to facilitate access to books and help increase literacy rates.