North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

'Reading with Royalty' program begins


Christopher Andersson

photo BY CHRISTOPHER ANDERSSON Strawberry Festival Princess Callie Burkett, left, reads to Gabi Cabrera during "Reading with Royalty" at Pinewood Elementary on June 22.

Marysville elementary students can check out books for the summer months and read with the Strawberry Festival Royalty this summer at Pinewood Elementary School.

Students can come to Pinewood Elementary's library to check out books every Wednesday from June 22 to Aug. 24, from 10 a.m. to noon.

During that time the Strawberry Festival queen and princesses will also read to kids or help them read books.

"It's really cute, and it's nice to see how they improve and the words they learn as they read," said Strawberry Festival Princess Callie Burkett.

"I really like getting to interact with kids on a school-level," said Strawberry Festival Princess Emily Gregg.

Strawberry Festival Queen Kennedy Doty's sister Madison started the Reading with Royalty two years ago when she was Queen, and Kennedy said she is glad she can continue the tradition.

Pinewood Elementary teacher and Kennedy's mother Shelley Doty said the library has opened up for the last eight years during the summer, and the royalty have been coming to help for the past three years.

"Kids need to have access to books all the time, not just during the school year," said Shelley Doty.

"It's a library that their kids know and I have knowledge of their reading abilities and what level they're at so it's easy for me to find what books are best for them," she said.

"It gives the kids a chance to read all year and find the books they enjoy and are just the right level for them," said Kennedy Doty.

Local parent Tasha Cabrera said she has been coming to the library during the summer for eight years now.

"It gives them [the kids] a chance to check out books that they weren't able to in class because they're on a limited time. So they can take their time and look for the books they want," she said.

Kids also like the freedom of the summer as well, said Shelley Doty. "During the school year they're more limited in the number of books they can check out," she said, while some come into the library at 10 a.m. and check out 10 books.

The festival Royalty also helps encourage kids to come, she said.

"I think what the kids like best is having the Strawberry Festival Royalty here," said Shelley Doty.

She also likes being able to work closely with the children.

"I love the summer reading program because it's a more relaxed time with my students. I get to visit with them one-on-one because it's a smaller group. I'm not seeing 500 kids in a week," she said.

This year tickets can be earned to an Aug. 27 Everett Aquasox game as well for students who come to "Reading with Royalty."


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