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Santa Maria High School Chicano/Latino Studies students reached out to encourage youth that reading matters.

The students recently visited nearby Sanchez Elementary School during Cesar Chavez Day as part of an ongoing community outreach project designed to promote high school preparation and college.

About 35 Saints spent time reading children’s books in English and Spanish to 16 classrooms.

The idea for the community service is based on Mr. Chavez’s belief that “The end of all education should surely be service to others”.

“What is the point of getting a good education if you are not using it to benefit others?’’ said Chicano/Latino Studies Teacher Ricardo Valencia, adding the younger students really appreciated the bilingual aspect of the reading.

Senior Jennifer Valdez strongly recommends the experience to all. Junior Sara Martinez discovered that being a role model is rewarding.

Senior Felipe Cruz said the outreach was “inspirational” and is now pondering a career in education.

“I really appreciated seeing all the warm and energetic faces greet us,’’ Cruz said. “When I asked all the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up, I was amazed to hear all their wonderful answers. Honestly, I am considering being a teacher after reading to all the awesome kids.’’

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