Valerie Martinez, a seventh-grade student at Memorial Middle School, had one objective in mind this past summer, to keep kids reading.
As a Cadette working towards her Girl Scout Silver Award Project, she volunteered her time to reading books and making crafts with young children at the Harlingen Public Library and three different units of the Boys & Girls Club of Harlingen (Harry Nigro, Ben Milam Elementary, and Le Moyne Gardens).
“My goal was to get kids interested in reading instead of playing video games all summer,” said Martinez. “I learned a lot from this experience, and the kids enjoyed hearing the expressions in my voice as I read to them. They always looked forward to the craft and raffles after the readings as well.”
In addition to her volunteer hours, Martinez requested book and art supply donations at her former campus, Long Elementary.
With the generous contributions of the people at Long, Martinez was able to collect a total of 554 books. And with her family’s help she donated two bookcases to the Boys and Girls Club to create small libraries with the books collected.
“As the kids helped me fill up the shelves, I could see the big smiles on their faces,” she said. “I told them these books were there for them to read and that I would be back next summer to read to them once again.”
Martinez will continue to collect books throughout the school year to keep adding to the libraries that she helped create.