Read2Succeed starting book club for children

By Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld….

Mynor Lagos and Rachel Hernandez read together after school during the Read2Succeed tutoring program.

Read2Succeed, an organization created some five years ago to help children achieve academic success, is starting a book club for kids in West Kendall.

“We have some wonderful working relationships with the individual schools and two after school tutoring programs,” said Diana Young, communications coordinator.

That program is called the “I 2 Can Succeed After School Program.”

The book club meets from 10 to 11 a.m. on the last Saturday of the month at 13418 SW 128 St. Each meeting will be themed and the kids will read a book about that theme. For example, in April, the theme is expected to be about Earth Day or the environment.

“The concept is to be meeting with the children once a month,” Young said. “We’re going to have a book that is chosen for them.”

Children from kindergarten to fifth grade can be involved in the book club. Initially, all the children will meet together but once there are enough younsters involved, the plan is to split the book club into two sections, K-2 and 3-5 and choose age appropriate reading material for each group.

“We want this to be a really big thing for the community,” Young said.

The idea is to find ways to make reading exciting. That means bringing in authors to meet with the children and field trips to the Miami Book Fair International.

Valerie Bustamante, academic and program coordinator, said the book club is another way to reach out to the community, but this time they wanted to reach a larger population and get the word out about why reading is essential.

The children currently helped by Read2Succeed tutoring program are found in cooperation with the schools and must come from low-income families.

“We target children who are low performing,” she said. “We’re looking to serve kids who are underserved in the classroom.”

But any child can belong to the book club, not just those on free or reduced lunch programs, or children who are struggling to read. It’s a place where terrific readers can go and talk about books with other kids.

Bustamante promises the book club won’t have a stuffy, classroom feel.

“We read as a group, we do fun activities. We’ll do art projects… all sorts of things to bring home the theme of the book they are reading that month,” she said.

Ideally, they would like to have 20-25 kids at the Mar. 26 meeting. They also are going to involve the children in picking themes for future meetings.

“We try to choose themes that are fun and relevant,” she said. “We want the kids to have a greater role in what they are reading.”

Plus, there’s no homework. Books won’t be carried over from month to month. If the kids like the book and want to continue to read, they can check it out from the Read2Succeed library.

For details, call 305-969-7440 or go online to

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