Kids’ Summer Reading Campaign in Oxnard

By Dan and Barbara Pinedo

July 12, 2015

Outside of the Oxnard Heritage Cultural Center at 141 West 5th street in Oxnard was filled with children and their parents. They participated in a Summer Reading Campaign sponsored by Family’s First, a nonprofit organization that provides parenting, marriage, and relationship resources that help people love their family well, and give them greater hope for the future.


Lucy Cartagena Martinez (R) is the administrator for the Family First Oxnard chapter, encourages reading by kids on Sunday, July 12, at . Photo: Dan Pinedo,

Lucy Cartagena Martinez is the administrator for the Family’s First Oxnard chapter. After an incident involving Oxnard Police, the police chief posed a question to her, “what are you doing for your community?” After thinking about the question, she realized that she wasn’t doing much. Lucy saw the need for stronger family relation in the Hispanic community. She began to search for ways to help and in doing so started a Family First chapter in Oxnard.

The Summer Reading Campaign is funded through a grant from the Molina Foundation. The Molina Foundation is a national nonprofit organization focused on reducing disparities in access to education and health. The Molina Foundation works with organizations and schools towards this end, donating books and hosting workshops and programs for educators and families in vulnerable communities.

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“We partner with preschool programs, clinics, schools, family service organizations, churches, and other civic organizations serving low-income and at-risk families, with clear programs or initiatives around education, literacy, health, wellness, or family support services”, (Molina Foundation Website).


California Assembly member Jacqui Irwin stopped by and read Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs And Ham to the children’s delight. She emphasized to them how important it is to read every day.

Audrey Ramirez, who is 4 years old, received a bundle of books and a backpack to go with them (below). Her dad Tony reads to her regularly and appreciates the extra books.


Lucy Cartagena Martinez, administrator for the Family First Oxnard chapter, bestows gifts on Audrey Ramirez. Photo: Dan Pinedo,

Cecilia Martinez a student at Oxnard College heard about the program from Lucy. She feels that it is a good program because it motivates children to use their time wisely during summer.

Although Marcos Castellanos takes his family to the library often, he feels the Summer reading campaign is a good thing.


Participants and supporters at Summer Reading Program, held at Oxnard Heritage Cultural Center, 7-12-15. Photo: Dan Pinedo,


Dan and Barbara Pinedo are  Citizen Journalists residing in Oxnard

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