Catch The Pine Library Reading Bug


My mom didn't have to search much of rural Barry, Ill. to find me during the sweltering hot and humid summer months.

She had only to look outside in the yard, under one of the shade trees. I was usually there, "with my nose in a book," she'd say.

Some of the more well-heeled families in Barry bought their children books, but other than the much-anticipated Christmas book from a favorite aunt, my books came from the local library.

Under the watchful eye of town librarian Lena Graves, I carried home armloads of reading she and my parents deemed appropriate.

Today, we have the opportunity to help our children enjoy the summer reading program offered at the Pine library. We can do so by donating $25 to the Children's Summer Program Fund. The donation will support a child for the entire summer program.

In addition to the four-week reading program, "Catch the Reading Bug," your donation will provide weekly, pre-school story time, new-release children's movies, a junior high drama group and junior high video gaming, including a new, recently purchased Wii system.

Each session is full of incentives to read, free books and videos, special presentations, educational activities, games, music, drama, puppets, crafts and lots of plain old fun.

Your donation is tax-deductible and you will receive a certificate of appreciation to display at your business or home.

Mail your donation to the library, P.O. Box 229, Pine, AZ 85544, or drop it by the library at 6124 Randall Road in Pine. This is a great way to help provide a summer of wholesome fun and educational activities for our community's children.

Smile -- it's for a good cause

If you have been considering a family portrait, you'll want to take advantage of the family portrait fund-raiser at Pine Strawberry School.

Local photographers Jon and Trina Gunzel, owners of Arizona Photo Solutions, will be offering their expertise from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., April 12 at the PS school gym. Not only will you get a great picture taken, you will be helping PS school in raising funds. A percentage of all fees will be turned over to the school.

Students will soon be bringing a flier home with details of the available packages and pricing. This information will also be available on the day of the portraits. Community members are welcome, you do not need an appointment just a smile.

The session might also turn into an opportunity to meet and greet old friends.

Trina (Licavoli) Gunzel formerly attended Pine Strawberry School and taught elementary school in Payson. Jon was a three-sport star at Payson High School in the mid-1990s. His father, Steve, was the Tonto National Forest District Ranger for a number of years.

Taking AIMS

Most all Pine Strawberry School students will be taking the mandatory AIMS test April 10 through April 17.

The schedule is:

  • April 10 -- Writing and Terra Nova
  • April 11 -- Reading and Terra Nova
  • April 14 -- Reading and Math
  • April 15 -- Reading and Math
  • April 16 -- Science
  • April 17 -- Make-up day

Students in grades two and eight will take Terra Nova or a national norm-referenced assessment that covers language arts and mathematics.

Norm-referenced tests are standardized tests that compare a child's performance to that of his or her peers. They tell where a student stands in relation to other children of the same age or grade.

Students in grades three to eight will take the AIMS Dual Purpose Assessment (DPA), which is a combination of AIMS criterion-reference assessment questions based on Arizona Academic Standards.

Criterion-referenced testing measures what specific skills a student has mastered.

Teachers and administrators best advice for helping students pass AIMS includes not missing any class time on test days, getting plenty of sleep the nights before testing and eating a nutritious breakfast the morning of tests.

The Arizona Department of Education has also offered hints for successful test taking that include "becoming familiar with the Arizona Academic Standards documents so that you will understand what you are expected to know and be able to do."

Probably the best way students can familiarize themselves with the skills they need to pass AIMS is by logging on to the ADE Web site,, where sample tests and student guides are available.

Pine high school bus run

Parents have voiced some concerns regarding the bus run for Pine students attending Payson High School next school year.

Although Pine Strawberry Elementary School District and Payson Unified School District are on different school calendars beginning next school year, Principal Mike Clark said that the local district will run the high school bus any time PHS is in session regardless whether or not Pine is in session.

Substitute teachers needed

Pine Strawberry Elementary School Principal Mike Clark informs us there is a critical shortage of substitute teachers. Some are under the assumption you need a degree to substitute, not so.

Qualifications to become a certified substitute teacher are:

  • For Emergency Substitute Certificate (valid for 1 year, renewable):High school diploma or GED.
  • Regular Substitute Certificate (valid for multiple years):Minimum of a BA/BS from any accredited college of university.
  • Fingerprint clearance card issued by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

If anyone is interest in becoming a substitute teacher, please contact Doris Randall or Mike Clark at (928) 476-3283 or drandall or or stop by the school office.

Pine library to close for spring cleaning

As sure as night follows day, spring follows winter, bringing with it spring cleaning. Our library will be closing for spring cleaning for three days this month.

Becky Waer, library manager has designated April 23, 24 and 25 as spring cleaning days.

The library will re-open at 9 a.m., April 26.

Volunteer of the year

Take Pride announced that the deadline to nominate someone as the volunteer of the year has been extended to April 14. You can send your nominee choice to Sheri Earp at P.O. Box 2363, Pine, AZ 85544 or by e-mail to

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