The banner hanging in the entryway of Empire Elementary School is more than a motto, it's the school's inspiration.
"If I want to succeed, I have to read," it says. Then in Spanish: "Si yo quiero tener exito, yo tengo que leer."
"My goal is to read smoothly," said 6-year-old Alondra Cadena. "I read books and I learn."
Along with the rest of the students in her school, Alondra spends 90 minutes every day reading as part of the Success For All program.
Then Alondra spends an extra 20 minutes practicing her reading and writing skills with her tutor Tim Holdsworth.
Semi-retired from the linen business, Holdsworth spends his free time helping students like Alondra increase their literacy.
"In order to grow up in a positive manner, these kids have got to read," he said. "They've got to read to get a job, write a check, whatever they do."
Across the nation, students and teachers will be placing extra emphasis on reading during March as national reading month.
With nearly 60 percent of Empire's total student population learning English as a second language, officials there always place a strong emphasis on reading and writing.
The school's policy requires 30 percent of first-graders receive the extra tutoring with 20 percent of second-graders and 10 percent of third-graders receiving the same help.
"It gives each child one-on-one instruction with one person giving all their attention to that child," said Susan Squires, the school's SFA and tutor-program coordinator. "By the time our students are in third grade, we'll have more of them reading at grade level and able to succeed in all areas."
The tutors come from Western Nevada Community College and the community.
Karen Bennett left her career as a lumber yard manager to work with schoolchildren.
"It's really rewarding," she said. "We struggle in the beginning and when we see a little progress, it makes me feel like I'm on top of the world and the kids feel the same way."
Bennett helped 6-year-old Stephanie Zuniga write a story Thursday morning using new words beginning with "y."
Stephanie had to ask what "yank" meant before she could integrate it into a sentence.
Bennett asked her the meaning of the word again once the story was written.
After a momentary pause, Stephanie announced, "It means, 'to pull.'"