I’m a Tulsa Kid: Ariana Reagor
Reagor is an ambassador for Gathering Place's Reading Tree initiative.
As Tulsans eagerly await the opening of the new public park, A Gathering Place For Tulsa, 10-year-old Ariana Reagor is challenging the children in the community to read 2 million books before opening day! As A Gathering Place’s Ambassador, Ariana is encouraging area children to explore the world through reading. Each book read makes A Gathering Place’s online Reading Tree grow fuller, motivating children to set reading goals as they watch it expand.
TK: What is the Reading Tree Challenge?
Ariana: Tulsa County children were challenged to read 2 million books to open A Gathering Place. Based on the real Reading Tree, the largest and oldest cottonwood tree at Gathering Place, the challenge ignites a child’s imagination to find the power and wonder in reading. With teachers, educators and families working together, we can inspire the next generation to marvel at the worlds that await them from page to page. Parents, teachers and mentors can still sign up their kids and log books at tulsareadingtree.org
TK: How are you encouraging other children to read and join the challenge?
Ariana: I encourage other children to read by sharing with them how fun, adventurous and important reading is. Reading is magical. It takes children on a journey. I love Fantasy books, and love to have fun pretending I am a princess. The Reading Tree is also magical. We have to read to help the leaves grow, so the park will open. I also share with them The Challenge: Each book children read helps us reach our goal of 2 million to open the park. Two million books sounds like a lot, but I know we can do it! By logging in to tulsareadingtree.org, children can keep track of the total books they have read, and even set their own goal on how many books they would like to read by the summer.
I also tell children how important reading is. Reading is important for comprehension, vocabulary and helps make our lives better and easier. Reading also inspires children to be anything they want to be. One day, I would like to be an actress on TV or even be in a Broadway musical. (I currently love, love, love Newsies. I probably have watched it about 20 times.) I have always pretended I was in a musical since I was about 5 years old. I would even memorize the choreography and set my own props, like a chair to jump on. This is what I would do when I would watch High School Musical, another of my favorites!
TK: What are your favorite types of books to read?
Ariana: Oh my goodness, I love all kinds of books! Graphic novels, fiction, historical and realistic fiction, and fantasy! Graphic novels are fun because you get to see pictures and read great stories. I learn a lot from reading historical and realistic fiction. I love learning about the past, and I love learning about people, and I love reading funny stories. And, well, fantasy is just my favorite. It gets my imagination going and is always exciting to read.
TK: Who inspires you?
Ariana: My parents always inspire me. They encourage me to do anything and be anything I love. They say as long as I am happy doing what I love then that is what matters. They inspire me to always believe in my dreams, and they tell me anything is possible.
I have been inspired my whole life by people around me. My parents and my teachers have had a huge impact on me. They have given me the tools I need to succeed in life and have inspired me to believe in myself! My second-grade teacher would read so many different types of fun books to the class. She always made it so real and exciting! In her class, we would also write stories and have publishing parties. They were the best because we would get to share our work with our classmates and eat goodies, of course. This is where my love for reading began, and my imagination came to life. Her class inspired me to write. I continue to write today and hope to one day write and illustrate a children’s book.
TK: What are your hobbies?
Ariana: I love art! The art of drawing, the art of writing, and the art of designing all inspire me. For example, I love, love, love crafting doll items. I make doll background scenes, so you can pretend your doll is in different places. I also have fun making doll clothing, accessories, and miniature doll items like accessories, food items, cell phone, etc. It can take hours to hand-make a miniature turkey dinner with fixings for your dolls. It’s a lot of crafting, but so much fun seeing the end result. One day, I will be able to enter a craft into the Tulsa State Fair competition.
I also love drawing. I can draw different characters for hours. I have watched different drawing teaching videos on how to draw a particular character and then follow them step-by-step. After watching so many hours of drawing videos, I can now draw some of my own characters. It is so much fun seeing my characters come to life. I save my drawings now because my mom and dad love them and they tell me I can use my characters in a children’s book that I hope to write one day soon. I also love to write fantasy stories. I can write and write and write for days. In third grade, I even got 1st place in the state in the PTA Reflections Contest, The Literary Division. When I have an idea for a cute short story, I start writing some of the story, and then, since I love to draw, I draw my background and characters for my stories…another reason my mom and dad say, “Looks like a book is coming my way soon”
TK: What are your plans and goals for the future?
Ariana: Since I love acting, I want to one day be on TV and, of course, my biggest goal would be to be on the Disney Channel, but any children’s channel would be amazing.
My plans are to continue pursuing my acting career and going on auditions. This is how I got to be The Ambassador of The Gathering Place. It is the biggest and best project I have gotten so far. It is also so much fun encouraging children to read while doing something I love. Reading has helped my imagination so much, being able to one day write and illustrate a children’s book would be an amazing goal that I hope to reach.
TK: What is a fun fact about you?
Ariana: I am afraid of the 3 C ’s: “Clowns, Crabs and Crickets.” And by the way that’s an alliteration!