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UCR Professor Part of Summer Reading Summit in Sacramento

UCR Professor Part of Summer Reading Summit in Sacramento

(June 12, 2000)

Gary Soto, a poet and professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, will be one of three celebrity guests Tuesday, June 20 in the Governor's Council Chambers in Sacramento at the final event of READ California.

The author of "Chato's Kitchen" will join Marabina Jaimes of PBS's Storytime and Dr. Mary Lamia, Radio Disney host, for the "California Kids Summer Reading Summit" to encourage continued reading during the summer. Together, they will lead a workshop for the 15 members of the California Page Flippers Kids Advisory Council who have served as ambassadors for the READ California campaign.

Governor Gray Davis and the Legislature allocated $4 million to establish a public information campaign promoting the value and importance of reading. Called READ California, the program began in October 1999 and included a Readapalooza Tour throughout California, special events, advertising and community outreach. The summit is the culminating event.

Soto will talk about his own long, hot summers in Fresno, where he fell in love with words. He will also give each advisory council member a signed copy of his book, "Local News."

Soto earned the 1999 Hispanic Heritage Award, a nationally televised award recognizing people who have been groundbreakers in their fields. A native of Fresno, Soto has authored 10 books of poetry and three young adult short story collections that describe the ironies of life in his working class neighborhood.

More information about READ California is available at

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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