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Student named top reader at Peoria Public Schools

She skips breakfast to read and she does not plan on stopping any time soon.

Nine-year-old Peoria student, Damila Collins, is now being recognized as the top reader in the district.

Collins is a fourth grader at Lincoln K-8 School. Her mom said she can read 60-100 chapter books a year.

“Every time I read a book, I just have another one piled on top of it and another one. I have to read a lot of books,” said Collins.

“When she wakes up in the morning, it’s not even her passion to eat breakfast. It’s her passion to get up to see what books she is going to read for the day,” said mom, Casandra Brewer.

Collins picked up her first book at age one, then started reading at age four. She finished her first chapter book in second grade. Now she can read 700 pages a week. Collins said she has her mom to thank

“When I was little, she used to read books to me, and she used to teach me the sound of the word and the sound of the book and the pages,” stated Collins.

“It starts at home. You are always their first teacher. I want to make sure she understands what she is reading. ‘Okay, so you are done with Harry Potter? come down and tell me what that book was about,'” said Brewer.

It came as no surprise when Collins was recognized as the highest reader in the district this year. She is part of the ‘Accelerated Reader Program.’ Students read books, then take a test for comprehension. There is a point value for each book. Collins received 700 points this year, something educators have not seen in some time.

“Even if you don’t like a book, just try one. They are good for you,” said Collins.


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