Reading Counts becomes a family tradition

Armando Ocampo Medina, a second grade student at Williams Elementary School, wins the Reading Counts challenge on Friday, Feb. 1, 2019, with 1,000 points.

Jennifer Blue |

Williams Elementary School students gathered closely to the side of their school where on the wall is a painted American flag and their bee mascot. 

Friday, Feb. 1, was the school’s regular awards ceremony, but there was an extra special recognition given that day. 

When Armando Ocampo Medina’s name was called, a smartly-dressed, 8-year-old young man with an unabashed smile responded.

Armando, a second grader in Victoria Sedgwick’s class, won the trophy for the Super Reader Award, given to a student who earns 1,000 Reading Counts points. 

Reading Counts is an incentive-based reading program for school age youth. 

“Armando has been reading and taking quizzes for the past three years to accomplish this challenging goal,” Sedgwick said.

Armando’s teacher wasn’t the only one excited. Veronica Ocampo, his mother, also attended  

Ocampo beamed with pride for her son as he told about his plan to be a robotics engineer when he grows up. 

Armando explained the secret to his success: “I read a lot. I just read books that I enjoy, and I also enjoy reading.” 

Ocampo shared that Armando is on a path that was previously blazed by his older sister Kamila, who had also received a Reading Counts award and is now aspiring to become a lawyer. 

Both children are also very active in sports: basketball, soccer, baseball, and wrestling. 

Ocampo said that her son brings books with him into the grocery store, and she often finds him asleep with an open book in hand. 

Armando enjoys the comedies best, such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” and his favorite, “Matilda.” ■