“It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading.”
by Sarah Binns, MCL volunteer
The first thing that struck me about library volunteer Jordan “Jordy” Pardo was his order of a cold brew—it’s not every day I meet a thirteen-year-old who embraces coffee! But Jordy, soon to enter Franklin High School as a freshman, is one of those delightful people who embraces everything with gusto—including his longtime position as a Summer Reading volunteer at Holgate Library.
For many young readers, Multnomah County Library’s Summer Reading program is the highlight of summer break. The program encourages all youth, from birth through high school, to read. To participate, participants track the number of days they read (or are read to) and record them on a game board to win prizes. Jordy learned about the program at age four when his older sister started volunteering. “She’d take care of me and I’d go with her [to the library]. It fascinated me. I thought, ‘When I’m old enough, I want to do that.’” In the summer before fifth grade Jordy was accepted to the program—“I’ve been doing it ever since.”
Jordy’s favorite part of volunteering is giving participants their game boards. “It’s fun to see kids get so excited about reading and then get rewarded for reading,” he says. Book-wise, Jordy enjoys mysteries, especially Scooby Doo. “It keeps me interested, and I always want to figure out who did it in the end.” He typically ends his day with a book: “Reading is my melatonin,” he says, laughing.
In his free time, Jordy hangs out with his sister and friends all over Portland, which he navigates by bus. With his friends, he says, “We could go look at a tree. As long as you’re with people you love and people who love you, it’s fun.” He applies the same philosophy to school, where he enjoys math and language arts. “I like solving for x or y,” he says—just like solving his mystery novels.
When I ask if he’s excited for high school he says, “I just want to get started, graduate, and be successful!” Given his passion for learning and curious nature, it’s easy to see that Jordy will be successful at anything he puts his mind to.
Home library: Holgate
Currently reading: Schooled by Gordon Korman
Most influential book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros.
Favorite section to browse: Teen or kids books. “It’s nice to read a shorter book sometimes, it’s a change of pace.”
Favorite book from childhood: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. “My mom would read me that book at night. I couldn’t go to sleep without being read to.”
Favorite place to read: On a couch. “I’ll sit and drink coffee while reading.”
E-reader or paper: Paper. “The point is you’re taking time away from your phone and technology!”
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