Realtors’ Books Drive Kids’ Summer Reading Success

Photo courtesy Pasadena Unified School District Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek reads at Hamilton Elementary School at last spring’s Realtors Read Across PASadena event.
Photo courtesy Pasadena Unified School District
Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek reads at Hamilton Elementary School at last spring’s Realtors Read Across PASadena event.

The other day, children’s librarian AnnMarie Hurtado was driving down Walnut Avenue when she spotted a little girl walking, proudly carrying her reading log, a few blocks away from the library.
“I thought, ‘She’s going to the library to get her prize!’” Hurtado said, warmly recalling the moment. “This is kind of like our summer Christmas; it’s our chance to give away books and get kids excited about coming to the library and excited about reading.”
The Pasadena Public Library’s Kids Summer Reading program has steadily gained elementary-age school readership over the years, but it got a big boost in 2016 when local Realtors initiated a massive book drive for 2nd-graders, giving away more than 1,700 books to Pasadena, Altadena and Sierra Madre public schools. In the inset of each book, there is a sticker with a list of each public library location, phone number and hours, so that families have a go-to reference for more summer reading.
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Enduring Heroes Statue Unveiled on Memorial Day

Hundreds of supporters joined families and dignitaries at a moving Memorial Day ceremony to commemorate the unveiling of the Enduring Heroes statue in Pasadena.

Photo by Carin Yates / OUTLOOK Unveiled on Monday, the 8-foot bronze Enduring Heroes sculpture, by artist Christopher Slatoff, depicts a combat soldier triumphantly holding the American flag. It was inspired by each of the 11 local soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Photo by Carin Yates / OUTLOOK
Unveiled on Monday, the 8-foot bronze Enduring Heroes sculpture, by artist Christopher Slatoff, depicts a combat soldier triumphantly holding the American flag. It was inspired by each of the 11 local soldiers who gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The 8-foot bronze sculpture, stationed prominently in Defenders Park, on the corner of Colorado and Orange Grove boulevards, will serve as a tribute to the 11 area soldiers — including San Marino’s J.P. Blecksmith — who gave their lives over the past 15 years in Afghanistan and Iraq.
J.P.’s father, Ed Blecksmith, spoke as a representative for all 11 local Gold Star Families who lost a son or daughter in the War on Terror: “This was a title, Gold Star Family, that none of us sought,” he said. “Losing a child, especially one who has volunteered to serve his or her country during a time of conflict, is a prospect very few families have had to face.”
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