Verb students garner sundaes, free-dress, and Disneyland Resort trips for reading achievement

By John Stradley, Moderator, The Present Dei

Nathaniel Ryan and Nathaniel Mota, underclassmen at Verbum Dei High School, earned trips to the Disneyland Resort for exceeding their class requirement for independent reading by three times in the first semester.  The recipient and two guests are provided entry into the Disneyland Resort with “Park Hopper” tickets, which allow them to enjoy both Disneyland and California Adventure Park.  The award is valued at more than $300.  The incentives are offered as a component of the Reading Counts! program that was piloted last year with two grade levels and expanded school wide this year.

Reading Counts!  is an instrumental element in the development of a ‘culture of literacy’ at Verbum Dei High School,” said John Stradley, English Department Chair.  “Many of our students have never considered reading to be among their options for filling their free time, but now they are beginning to see the value of reading – both for their English grades and for entertainment.”

On two unseasonably warm January afternoons, 29 reading Eagles from all four grade levels noshed on self-trimmed sundaes of vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, and maraschino cherries.  Students qualified for this incentive by exceeding their independent reading requirements by a minimum of 10%.

Additionally, seven students, representative of each grade level, earned coveted free dress passes for use during finals week this past December.  These awards were earned for reading up to twice the class requirement for independent reading.

The Scholastic Reading Counts! program promotes independent reading through individual student choice from 40,000+ fiction and non-fiction titles.  Students read books of their choosing independently, take computerized comprehension quizzes on the titles, and earn points that are factored into their English grade.

Eagles varsity soccer dominates Vista Mar 6-1

Senior Eddie Molina demonstrates his ball-control prowess as strong team work and communication of the VDHS varsity soccer team bring a 6-1 victory against Vista Mar High School at the Eagle’s Nest.  Photograph by Bryan Moriera

By Bryan Moreira, Staff Writer

The Verbum Dei varsity soccer team faced off against Vista Mar High School on January 6 at VDHS, and they achieved an outstanding 6-1 victory through team work and great communication out on the field.

“We all united as one as a Verbum Dei team,” said Miguel Lopez, a sophomore defensive player. “We dominated that game.” In their first game since placing 4th in the Bosco Tech Christmas Tournament, the Verbum Dei Eagles controlled this game through outstanding defensive and offensive play. VDHS scored four goals in the first half, while Vista Mar was unable to score their first and only goal until well into the second half.

Danny Lopez scored a dazzling goal well into the second half that caused a lot of cheering. He received a passed ball and moved swiftly, so he was able to get ahead of all of the defenders. This gave him a wide open shot with only the goalie left to try to negate the incoming shot. In addition to this goal that stood our amongst the rest, five other Verb players scored throughout the duration of the game.

“It [the victory] was a confidence booster for games to come in the league, especially with harder games coming up like those against Salesian,” said Assistant Coach Oscar Rosa.