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Gainesville 5-year-old to talk about love of reading on Steve Harvey
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Gainesville 5-year-old Daliyah Arana, who has read more than 2,000 books, recently visited the “Steve Harvey” TV show. The show will air at 3 p.m. Wednesday on Fox 5. - photo by CRISTINA AGUIRRE

A 5-year-old Gainesville girl’s love of reading keeps taking her to new places.

Following a January trip to the Library of Congress as “librarian for a day,” Daliyah Arana recently made a visit to the “Steve Harvey” TV show. It will air at 3 p.m. Wednesday on Fox 5.

Arana has read more than 2,300 books, including about the first 1,000 read to her by her family from the time she was born.

Ever since Carla Hayden, librarian for the Library of Congress, tweeted a photo of Daliyah with her in January, calls from multiple TV producers poured in for the Arana family, most of which they turned down. But Haleema Arana, Daliyah’s mother, said popular TV personality Steve Harvey’s team stood out.

“We couldn’t turn that opportunity down,” Haleema said.

Daliyah started reading when she was about 2 years old. She previously completed the Georgia 1,000 Books B4 Kindergarten Program, which challenges children to read 1,000 books before their first day of kindergarten. She actually read that many books before starting preschool.

The show hosted by Harvey released a video of Daliyah asking Harvey if his mustache is real.

“She’s really a natural. It’s like the cameras don’t faze her at all. It’s like the cameras aren’t there,” Haleema said. “For her, it’s all fun and games. She just loves it.”

Fair Street International Academy Principal Will Campbell is looking forward to having Daliyah start at his school this fall. Instead of beginning with kindergarten, she’ll be in first grade. Campbell said Daliyah’s family, including her father Miguel, is the perfect example of how important learning at home is in setting the stage for when schooling begins.

Campbell said the school received 1,000 books to share with students thanks to a donation from someone who asked Daliyah what she wanted.

“We continue to receive positive ripples from the Daliyah effect,” Campbell said.

Starting next month, Daliyah will be in school at Fair Street. Campbell said her aptitude will keep his staff on its toes.

“We’re going to have to make sure we keep school relevant and challenging for her,” Campbell said.

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