Young mentees give lively shoutout to books and reading

More than 200 students from six local elementary schools packed a filled campus auditorium – along with teachers, parents and UC Berkeley students – for a lively May 1 happening in celebration of books and reading, the campus’s fourth annual BUILD reading-awards ceremony.

BUILD, for Berkeley United in Literacy Development, is a reading mentoring program of the UC Berkeley Public Service Center. Each semester the program matches 215 Berkeley students with young readers at schools in Berkeley and Oakland. “It was fun” talking about Seriously, Cinderella Is SO Annoying with her mentor, said one attendee, Washington Elementary third-grader Ellen Olonbayar, who showed off her certificate for participating in the program and “being an awesome kid.”

This year’s awards ceremony, held in Lewis Hall, featured the world premiere of a play about a squirrel in search of a bear on the UC Berkeley campus. The performance was based on Snackers and the Campus Mystery, a book that BUILD mentors are writing and illustrating for young readersThey plan to give out free copies of their hardcover picture book, printed by Snapfish, at the Bay Area Book Festival, June 6 and 7.

Check out these photos from the BUILD reading-awards event:

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