Neighbor: Aaron Barr caught

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 6, 2000

reading, and doesn’t mind


Features Editor

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Oct. 5, 2000 10 PM

Aaron Barr was caught reading and he didn’t mind one bit.

After all, it earned him a nice camera set and an opportunity to compete in a nationwide contest, so why should he mind.

Aaron was recently named a winner in a photography contest but the contest had a different twist.

Usually, those competing in a photography contest are the ones doing the photography. This time, however, the one who got photographed was the competitor.

Aaron’s mother, Susie Barr, was thumbing through an educator’s magazine, The NEA Journal, and she happened to see the rules for a photography contest which encouraged children to read.

The "Get Caught Reading Photo Contest" invited children in grades K-12 to enter the contest and help promote literacy. The contest was sponsored by SAM’s Club and Fujifilm.

The photo contest was one of several activities initiated by

SAM’s Club to promote adult and child literacy across the country as part of their "Get Caught Reading" program and, the interesting thing was that Aaron had already been "caught reading."

Aaron, a seventh grader at Banks Middle School, is an avid reader but he likes to read more for pleasure than "for homework."

"I like to read books about people, especially athletes," Aaron said. "I like all sports, so I’ll read just about anything as long as it’s about sports. And, I like autobiographies especially. I like it when someone tells about things that happen to them. Reading about other people and how hard they work to make it on a team makes me want to try harder."

Just what book Aaron was reading the afternoon his grandmother picked up her camera and caught him reading, he’s not sure. But whatever it was, it was really good because it had kept him nestled in a tree until almost sunset.

He didn’t know his grandmother had taken the picture until later and he never dreamed it would be entered in a contest.

"My mother took the picture to SAM’s in Dothan and entered it and I won," Aaron said. "I was surprised but I was happy because I won a camera. It’s

a 35mm zoom camera and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve already taken pictures with it. A lot of them are of my cows. And, too, the national winner will get a $5,000 scholarship. I guess I have a chance."

Aaron does have a chance and, who knows, he might be surprised again.

And what did Aaron, think about getting caught reading and everybody knowing?

He said that’s okay with him and it’s probably going to happen again and again. There’s no better way to spend a lazy summer afternoon or a cold winter night than with a good book. And, it you get caught, "Who cares? Reading is fun."