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Mims Elementary student sets new campus record

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Lina Villarreal
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Texas Border Business

MISSION – Mims Elementary student Lina Villarreal has made campus history after setting a new record for most words read in a single year. 

Lina, who set the record on March 26, beat the previous record of 5,121,345 words read, which was set in 2011. The fourth grade student has now read more than 5,230,929 words since setting the new record.

According to her teacher Daniella Alaniz, there hasn’t been a student in the last 10 years who had even come close to the record— until Lina.  

“The only issue we are running into now is that her reading level is so high that we’re running out of books. She has gone through my personal collection of books and her parents have been so supportive in buying her books as well,” Alaniz said. “And it’s not just me and her parents who are cheering her on, but all her classmates who are really excited and supportive.”

Lina, who has read more than 60 books this year alone, believes that the key to truly enjoy reading is finding books that can expand your imagination. 

“The books and stories that I read are full of adventure and they take me to places that I’ve never been, like Egypt, New York and London,” she said. “Find a series, author or theme that you like because it makes reading more fun.”

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Lina is a five-time district Platinum Reader, which students are named after reading one million words in a school year. There are currently five levels: a Silver Reader, which is achieved at 250,000 words, Gold Reader at 500,000 words, Titanium Reader at 750,000 words, Platinum Reader at one million and Multi-Platinum Reader, for those who read more than two million words.

For Alaniz, she hopes she can continue to motivate Lina and her classmates to read as much as possible and keep encouraging them to read what they enjoy.

“Pride, excitement and amazement are the emotions I feel for what my young student is doing,” Alaniz said. “She set goals for herself and all I can do is help her accomplish them by motivating her and providing books for her to read.”

When it comes to Lina’s long-term goals, the 4th grade student said it’s a toss up between an architect or author for her future career, but wants to try to take her aim at both. 

“Reading books expands my imagination because the settings of the book allow me to picture in my mind what different buildings look like in the story,” Lina said. “Maybe I can create a building one of these days that I have pictured when reading my favorite books.”

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Lina! Way to make your campus and district proud!

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