Lynwood – From the time Principal Sandra Verduzco arrived at Roosevelt Elementary School on the morning of Nov. 7 until the last bell rang, she did not stop reading her heart out to students in observance of National Young Readers Week.

As a part of Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! Program Principal Challenge, principals across the country were encouraged to spend the week reading to their campuses to demonstrate the importance of consistent reading.

“I have such a special connection with my Roosevelt students, and I know how much they appreciate me reading to each and every one of their classes,” Verduzco said. “Reading is so valuable and takes us to so many places you’d never imagine. I want them to always know that.”

Co-founded in 1989 by Pizza Hut and the Library of Congress Center for the Book, National Young Readers Week is an annual celebration held during the second week of November to raise awareness about the importance of reading.

Last year, every teacher at Roosevelt Elementary joined the Pizza Hut BOOK IT! Program to motivate students to read, rewarding them with free pizza for accomplishing monthly reading goals.

By reading to all 32 classrooms, Verduzco also entered her school into a drawing for free Kate DiCamillo books for the entire school – about 700 new books.

“Having Principal Verduzco demonstrate the importance of books and literacy in this way emphasizes the commitment our educators have in preparing our students for college and careers,” Superintendent Paul Gothold said. “Literacy is pivotal to every student’s success and does not just stop after school. It’s a lifelong lesson.”

Roosevelt consistently promotes reading through its library reading program, in which students are encouraged to read every week and submit book reports for a chance to win an annual library achievement award and prize.

“As educators, we must lead by example – we can’t expect our students to enjoy reading if they never see teachers enjoying a good book,” LUSD Board of Education President Alma-Delia Renteria said. “Roosevelt is providing its students with skills that will help them long after they leave the halls of their school.”


110716_LUSD_READ1: Roosevelt Elementary third-graders in Domitila Millan’s class listen intently while Principal Sandra Verduzco reads “Big Bushy Mustache” for a Principal Challenge on Nov. 7 for National Young Readers Week.

110716_LUSD_READ2: Roosevelt Elementary preschooler Emilio Garcia in Daniela Wilmes’ class points to a picture in “Dig Dig Digging” as Principal Sandra Verduzco begins to read for a National Young Readers Week challenge on Nov 7.