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The Bakersfield Voice Sunday, June 5, 2011

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YOUR SCHOOLS

Give the gift of a lifetime: Get kids hooked on books

N

o guide book or instruction manual arrived with my children — and while I prepared for childbirth, I found myself alone with my first child thinking, “Hey, what am I supposed to do now?” I modeled my practices after my parents, read books, magazines, and articles — and frankly, hoped for the best. All of my children are adults who are making their way in the world, and when I reflect back on what I think I did well, it comes down to one word: reading. I literally read them thousands of books aloud. Both my husband and I are huge readers — and when one of our kids didn’t initially have strong reading skills, I decided to read mountains of books to all of them to develop a love for reading. Through the years in our imaginations we traveled with Laura Ingalls Wilder, C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, Harper Lee, Pearl S. Buck and so many others. I urge parents with children to start reading stories to their kids no matter what their age. Children can take their turns reading too — one of the best gifts to give your child is the ability to read well out loud. Even my gifted eighth graders know quickly which children they want reading when we do plays like Diary of Anne Frank. A

good oral reader is a joy to have in any class. If parents REALLY don’t want to read aloud, consider audio books for car trips (assuming you can afford the gas!) There are hundreds and hundreds of free audio books on librivox.org — which features books that are in the public domain. I download classic books I never took the time to read and listen daily on my drive to work. Sometimes I’ll arrive at my destination only to stay Education columnist in the car to continue listening. I also listen to audio books while exercising, ironing and playing games on the computer. Once I start reading or listening to a book, I don’t like to stop! So this summer, give the gift of a lifetime: get a kid hooked on reading. Peggy Dewane-Pope is a teacher in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District.

PEGGY DEWANE-POPE

CALIFORNIAN FILE

Roosevelt School reading volunteer Joyce Young reads Dr. Seuss to first-graders during the Seuss birthday celebration at the school.

YOUR CELEBRATIONS

EXTRA! EXTRA!

Local high school student awarded National Multiple Sclerosis Society scholarship

Annual picnic recognizes burn survivors and family

BY CHRISTINE GRONTKOWSKI Community contributor

T

he National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society, Southern California & Nevada Chapter, is giving more than $1 million in scholarships to students around the country this year. More than 800 applications were submitted nationwide, and one local high school student, Liberty High School’s Cameron Califf, was chosen to receive one of the awards. Califf was honored during a ceremony at Liberty High held on World MS Day, May 25. Califf, who is graduating this year with a 4.5 GPA, will be receiving $1,000 from the Society and plans to attend the University of Southern California where he will major in Mechanical Engineering. He said he chose USC because of its reputation and because of everything the school has to offer. “USC has everything a college would want — a successful football team, strong academics, and the fact that it is located in the heart of L.A., so there will always be something to do,” he explained. Besides receiving the scholarship last Wednesday, Califf was also recognized for being at the top of his class (and earning the highest GPA possible in the Kern High School District). He was also involved with the school newspaper, The Revolution, and was on the “We the People” constitutional debate team, which went to state in February. But his achievements go beyond the classroom; he has also been instrumental in raising multiple sclerosis awareness in Kern County. In 2009, Califf was chosen as “Youth Volunteer of the Year” for the entire Southern California & Nevada Chapter, which serves 20,000 living with MS. He was honored for two projects he completed for the National MS Society as he was trying to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout — the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts. He designed and created 10 signs that have been (and will continue to be) used during Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Week in Bakersfield. Califf also designed and constructed a “Wall of Honorees” so the Bakersfield office can

PHOTOS PROVIDED

Kern County firefighters were on hand to talk about fire safety and give children a chance to check out their fire trucks during the annual burn survivors’ picnic. PROVIDED PHOTO

Cameron Califf, a senior at Liberty High School and recipient of a National Multiple Sclerosis Society scholarship, stands in front of the “Wall of Honorees” he designed and constructed for the local MS office.

publicly recognize those who have made generous donations, those who are top fundraisers, and those local volunteers who have received honors from the Chapter. Because of his accomplishments, he was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout at a ceremony on May 29. Califf chose to do his Eagle Scout project for the Society because of his mother, who was diagnosed in 1997. “She became involved with the MS Society in 2002 and because of her close connections, I have also had the privilege of working with them,” he said. “I am just glad that I could help out and help try to find a cure for MS.” Every year, the National MS Society awards scholarships to high school students with a connection with MS. Last year, Paige Brock, a Frontier High School student living with MS, along with Bakersfield Christian High School’s Siobhan O’Rourke, the daughter of a Bakersfield woman who has MS, received the scholarships.

BY ALLEN TATE Community contributor

I

had the honor of attending the Second annual Kern County Firefighter Burn Survivor Trust and the Grossman Burn Center family picnic on Sunday, May 22 — and let me tell you, the food was great. There was a live DJ playing good music all day, an inflatable bounce house for the kids and a rock climbing wall.

The Kern County firefighters were on hand giving kids a chance to crawl around on one of their trucks. They even had a fire safety house set up so that the kids could learn all about ways to be safe in their homes. Everyone had a blast and even raised a few dollars to help support the Grossman Burn Center and The Kern County Firefighters Burn Survivor Trust.

Califf created the MS awareness signs, including the one shown here, because of his mother who was diagnosed in 1997.

EXTRA! EXTRA!

It’s time to celebrate DADS & GRADS!

D

o you have a special congratulatory message for your graduate? Maybe you want to thank your dad for being there for you during the good times — and the bad? Here’s your chance! Celebrate your dad or grad by sharing their photos and your messages at: www.bakersfieldvoice.com. YOUR favorite dad or grad just might pop up on the pages of the next Bakersfield Voice! Having trouble starting a profile on www.bakersfieldvoice.com — or maybe you just have a question? Feel free to email us with your questions at: smolen@bakersfield.com.

A participant of the Kern County Firefighter Burn Survivor Trust and the Grossman Burn Center family picnic takes a climb up the rock climbing wall.

YOUR CELEBRATIONS

Happy 5th birthday, Optimal Hospice hosts CarePals pet therapy social Axle! BY RHONDA FRANKHOUSER Community contributor

O

ptimal Hospice Care Volunteer Department is hosting a CarePals social Friday, June 10, from 2 to 4 p.m. at Centennial Dog Park, 400 Montclair St. Pet Therapy Teams are invited to come out to meet and mingle with the Optimal Hospice CarePals team members to learn how you and your pet can brighten the lives of families affected by terminal illness in the Kern County area. Please call the Volunteer Dept. at 716-4000 or email rfrankhouser@optimalcares.com to RSVP.

W

ishing you a terrific birthday! Love, Mom


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The BakersďŹ eld Voice Sunday, June 5, 2011


THE BAKERSFIELD VOICE 6/5/11