North Kern State Prison staff read to children at a school in Delano as part of Read Across America.

North Kern State Prison staff read to children at a school in Delano as part of Read Across America.

Prison staff get behind Read Across America in local school

By Lt. Tom Mattson, AA/Public Information Officer
North Kern State Prison

Schools across the nation celebrated Dr. Seuss’ birthday with Read Across America, including the community of Delano. Staff from North Kern State Prison used the opportunity to inspire students at Nueva Vista Language Academy by reading to students ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade.

Ana Marie Sanchez, Principal of Nueva Vista Language Academy, thanked Warden Sandra Alfaro for her continued support in encouraging the children by reading.

“Finding ways to celebrate the love of reading with children is important,” said Warden Alfaro. “Read Across America is exciting because the students are introduced to authors and stories they might not choose on their own.”

Joan Smith, chairperson for the event, said it was a success.

“I definitely think the kids had fun,” she said. “The books read raised their curiosity to the next level as well as their imagination.”

The books shared were appreciated because they were not the normal material the children were used to, according to organizers.

This was the third year NKSP has participated in this event. Each year staff are excited, not because they are served green eggs and ham or get to wear a Cat in the Hat red and white striped hat, but because giving back to the community they serve is so rewarding, prison officials said.

NKSP also donated $100 for the Neuva Vista Language Academy Book Fair to enable some of their under privileged children to purchase books just like all the other kids.

Staff from North Kern State Prison pitch in to help read to a local school.

Staff from North Kern State Prison pitched in to help read to a local school. From left are Dr. Nancy Nikkel, Chief of Mental Health; NKSP Principal Ross Zimmerman; Administrative Assistant (AA/PIO) Lt. Tom Mattson; Community Resource Manager (CRM) Danny Espitia; Joan Smith, Nueva Vista Language Academy Accelerating Literacy Trainer; Facility Capt. Lupe Cartagena; and California Prison Industry Authority (CALPIA) Custodial Supervisor II Adelson Chavez.