Nael Alzalde

Eight-year old Nael Alzalde is a third grader at Kempton Elementary School in Spring Valley. In November, Nael's mother, an immigrant from Mexico, began bringing him to the Spring Valley Library to meet a tutor on weekday evenings. Inside the library, Nael was the proverbial "kid in a candy store," beaming with excitement as he looked through the chapter books. It didn't take long for Nael to convince his mom to get him a library card – his first – so he could begin checking out books. Since then, Nael has been reading his way through Erin Hunter's "Warriors" novels (his favorite series) and requesting lots of books and DVDs from other branches. One day, right before the daily afterschool story time/snack program, Nael asked if he could read a story to the other kids and started a trend. Each day since, a different child has volunteered to read the first story at afterschool story time.