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The Santa Cruz County community; teachers, school staff, preschool teachers, daycare providers, home visitation preschool specialists, social service agency staff, parents and even middle and high school students have been trained in the Books Save Lives VISCERAL reading method and now they are all working on getting young people (birth to high school) reading in English for school success and the home languages (mostly Spanish here on the border) to ensure the transfer of family values, traditions, customs and even family recipes.  Only one in three toddlers in Santa Cruz County have access to preschool opportunities.  The public library system is the key to those opportunities along with access to books for all young people.

What and where are they? ¿Qué son y dónde están?

Please gift your books to your local free little libraries. Many community members do not have home libraries, we can help them with books we already have in our homes. They serve our community when in their hands and no shelved. Favor de compartir sus libros a las librerías gratuitas. Muchas familias no tienen acceso a libros en sus casas, podemos apoyarlos con libros que ya tenemos en nuestras casas. Mejor en las manos de nuestra comunidad que arrumbados. 1. * Outside the Safeway Store, Mariposa Rd 2. * Outside Colegio Petite, Morley Avenue 3. Mendibles Street "El Rincon del Arte" 4. Crawford Street 5. * Noon Street 6. * Desert Skies Gymnastics, Bankard St 7. Nogales High School 8. * City Hall next to Police Dispatch 9. * Recreation Center, Hohokam Drive 10. * Garrett's Supermarket 11. Calabasas School, 131 Camino Maricopa 12. 477 Pennsylvania Ave, Patagonia 13. 170 3rd Ave., Patagonia 14. 9 Lochiel Road, Lochiel 15. 3160 State Highway 83, Sonoita 16. Tubac Post Office 17. * St. Andrew's Preschool 18. AJ Mitchell Upper & Lower Elementary buildings 19. * Mexican Consulate, 135 W Cardwell St 20. * Nogales Community Food Bank 21. * Outside AJ Mitchell Elementary School 22. * Outside Mary Welty Elementary School 23. * Exit 25/Palo Parado Exit, El Ranchito Market, 7 Avenida Pastor, Rio Rico, AZ 85648, 520-281-8065 24. *. Nogales Rural Fire Department by Little Red Schoolhouse 25. * Rio Rico Community Center, Rio Rico * supported by Nogales/Santa Cruz County Friends of the Library

Children/Family Preschool Activities at the Library: Actividades para Niños/Familias en la Biblioteca

The Nogales Public Library system, together with the Friends of the Library invite you to sign up for important educational activities where your children from birth to five years old can interact with other children at the public library. Families will receive training on how to prepare their young one for kindergarten. Children will receive books to grow your home library. The Books Save Lives training was provided by Alfredo Velasquez, Santa Cruz County School Superintendent. El sistema de bibliotecas públicas del Condado de Santa Cruz junto con Amigos de la Biblioteca invitan a familias con bebes y niño hasta la edad de cinco años registrarse para que sus niños aprendan a relacionarse con otros niños y prepararlos para entrar al kinder, especialmente si no asisten a un preescolar. Los niños recibirán libros para crecer tu librería en casa. El entrenamiento de Books Save Lives fue ofrecido por Alfredo Velasquez, Superintendente de las Escuela en el Condado de Santa Cruz.

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Books Save Lives

The Santa Cruz County School Superintendent's Office has offered the Books Save Lives training. Educators, school staff, parents, social service agencies, preschool teachers, daycare providers and home visitation specialists are connecting children to books helping to overcome or avoid reading trauma.

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Nogales Santa Cruz County Public Library

Nogales-Rochlin Public Library serves a community of over 25,000 residents with Internet computer access, 56,000 volumes, and dozens of newspapers and magazines. There is a weekly Storytime, homework help, special after-school programs for children

Alfredo I. Velasquez Santa Cruz County School Superintendent

Mr. Alfredo Velasquez, the Santa Cruz County's School Superintendent office. has provided funding through the ESSER grant for teachers, books for Books Save Lives participants and a literacy bus, the Santa Cruzer that travels throughout the County to provide reading opportunities to your people. Sign up for a visit from the mobile library/Santa Cruzer by clicking link.

Books for Babies to 2nd grade

Here is a list of books recommended by Books for Schools and participants of Books Save Lives. Please email ideas for books that are interesting and relevant in English, Spanish, bilingual English/Spanish or bilingual English and other languages, especially languages with different orthographies.

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Books for Upper Elementary and Middle School

Here is a list of books recommended by Books for Schools and participants of Books Save Lives. Please email ideas for books that are interesting and relevant in English, Spanish, bilingual English/Spanish or bilingual English and other languages, especially languages with different orthographies.

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Books for High School and Adults

Here is a list of books recommended by Books for Schools and participants of Books Save Lives. Please email ideas for books that are interesting and relevant in English, Spanish, bilingual English/Spanish or bilingual English and other languages, especially languages with different orthographies.

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Books for Resistant Readers from 4th grade to High School

According to Daphne Russell of Books Save Lives, by using relevant and interesting books where young people know most of the words, they can become independent readers with a little support. (VISCERAL reading method) Here is a list of books that are written at the 2nd and 3rd grade reading levels that might be relevant to older (ages 10+) resistant readers. It's a great way to start and has taken much research to develop.

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Bilingual Books

Bilingual books are powerful tools to improve two languages, create opportunities for cross-generational bonding and learning about other cultures. Libros bilingües son herramienta poderosa para mejor dos idiomas, crear oportunidades para vinculación entre generaciones y aprendiendo de otras culturas.

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Libros en español

Revisa la lista de libros sugeridos por jóvenes y miembros de la comunidad.

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Donate or discover FREE books!
Visit our Tubac Public Library book repository at 50 Bridge Road, Tubac, Arizona 85640.  You are invited to take any books that interest you.  We also need BILINGUAL books, books in SPANISH, and good books for young people BIRTH TO YOUNG ADULTS for the FREE LITTLE LIBRARIES that are spread all across Santa Cruz County.

Donation Amount

  • 518 N Grand Avenue Nogales, Arizona 85621


Validate who they are, their thoughts, experiences, what they can do, all things that represent their significance as a human. Emphasize you care about them and are there to help them. Your focus is on them and it is genuine. You might share about yourself; family, school, likes, dislikes, travel, languages.



Find out all you can about their reading trauma, when it may have occurred and how it has affected them. Identify something to ‘hook’ them into trying this out with you. Motivate them to read by giving them someone else to "help" like a sibling, parent, friend, teacher. Looking for beliefs about themselves they may have, their perceptions of their abilities in school, on tests, in math, in Language Arts, with peers, with adults, with their parents/guardians. What are their outside interests? You’re listening for school based trauma.



Let them know you are there to help and that no issue is too big. Discover any additional ways that you can determine to help this young person choose to read and be successful in this endeavor. Be sincerely grateful the young person is willing to trust you and that you have the opportunity to help them. "We have a plan and if you trust me, there’s a chance all of your classes are going to be easier for you."



Practice having them make connections and to think while they are reading, taking turns going back and forth until the young person is making their own connections easily. Consider the possibility the young person in front of you does not believe their thoughts are important. Ask if they have ever heard of connections. "Describe any thoughts you have about the words or sentences you are reading as you’re reading, after you’ve read them or before you even started reading." Ask them not to read out loud, to read in their heads. Reading fluency is tested in schools kindergarten to eighth grades, making connections has never been a goal in the reading process. Speed and trivia have been more important not making connections to what they are reading.



Hand them a stack of books to look through in order to find one that they know all of the words. The section "Books for Resistant Readers from 4th grade to High School" above is a great place to find books for older resistant readers. Attempting to help the person forgive books for being used as weapons, for being directly tethered to shame and self-doubt. Help this young person let go of their “illiterate” identity by allowing them to successfully read on their own with complete comprehension. Offer them a life-changing opportunity of agency. This is not the time to ‘sound words out’. This is the time to "give" them the words to help them move swiftly through their reading so they can make "connections" and become an independent reader.



It is not about the topic or about answering (trivial) questions about what they read, it’s about the importance of selecting reading material a young person can connect to. Make sure the young person can connect with the words. That they are making sense of what is in front of them and they can tell you about what they are reading with enough detail that you feel confident they are actually reading, thinking while they read, making predictions, providing evidence to prove themselves wrong, etc. Read one sentence at a time and repeat until they "get" it and can "connect" to it, if it's relevant to them.



Provide the time necessary for the young person to read with the knowledge that you’ll continue to be there for them and circle around to see how they did without any expectations. In a perfect world you would provide at least 20 minutes of silent real reading, either at school or parents can do this at home. Create purposeful, peaceful time for this young person to figure out how to make books come alive, like spark plugs in a car, they need that jolt. Allow for that jolt and trust that every child will experience that jolt.



Share any opportunity that can possibly help this young person as they traverse their reading journey. Let them know that your support is not the end. Explain how they can find reading material they can link to; their public library, other readers, best seller lists (New York Times, Powell's City of Books, NPR, Indie Bestsellers List, Goodreads, Amazon) and even author interviews on YouTube of authors they have enjoyed. Remind them that they are worth it and that reading will change their life if they allow for the magic to happen. Let them know they are like an octopus...reaching out all over the place to find the right book.