Assets in Action: Get kids to read for fun

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Our community goal for this week is to increase the number of youth that read for pleasure.
That means reading three or more hours per week for fun.
The reading for pleasure category is one of the bottom data points for the community, provided by the last data capture.
Asset number 25 only comes in at 32 percent when the data is tallied and with school work abounding, may be hard for some students to increase during certain times.
What is my answer to the problem?
I suggest you head over to Mesa Public Library and talk to Angie Manfredi.
Tell her your student likes zombies or finds Captain Underpants hilarious and she will provide a solution.
If you tell her you like adventure, she could probably reel off a list of four titles that would spark your interest.
Manfredi is a card catalog on legs. For those too young to know what a card catalog is, feel free to ask any librarian for an explanation.
If you are a super bold parent or caregiver, drag your pre-teen, ’tween or teenager down to the youth services section and find her. Make that child hold a two-minute conversation and they will leave that library with enough ideas to last them for months.
If you aren’t sure she will be there, give them a call and make an appointment, let her know a few simple things about your child and watch the wheels turn.
If you can  provide a snippet from a movie, Manfredi is the type of person that will fill in the blanks with the who, what, when, where and why you should read or listen to the book — and if the resulting movie is worth your time.
Think about the first time you saw a book become a movie and how it was either better or worse. The truth is, usually the book is much better, but Manfredi is not ashamed to admit if the movie is better.
So let the conversations begin. If Manfredi calls me to complain that now she has no time for getting her work done because she is too busy talking to library patrons, my work will have been successful.
I wish you all a good book, a quiet room and happy reading.

The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce sponsor Assets in Action.