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Commentary: Cool kids at Mendez High are in the Reading Club

LA School Report | March 30, 2015

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By Steve Lopez | The Los Angeles Times

They meet on Mondays at lunch.

They remove their earbuds, hide their smartphones and communicate without the aid of electronic devices.

They are the coolest kids at Mendez High School in Boyle Heights.

They are the Reading Club.

“This is truly the biggest club on campus,” said English teacher Rebecca Carriaga, who formed the group last year with librarian Kim Leng. The two of them have often dipped into their own pockets to feed the book-reading fever of students, and the club is now 20-strong and growing.

Why am I telling you this? Because this is book bonanza time in Los Angeles.

The annual citywide Big Read was launched last week, with guess-who right in the middle of it. That’s right, the Mendez Reading Club marched from school to Mariachi Plaza to meet and hang with Luis Urrea, author of this year’s Big Read selection, “Into the Beautiful North.” And three weeks from now, these same students will cruise the L.A. Times Festival of Books on the USC campus.

Click here to read the full commentary.


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