For most of my adult life, I was a Pre-K Teacher, a job that I LOVED! Those four and five year olds were like little sponges, soaking up anything they could get their hands on! One of the things that bothered me over those decades was this...every year on the first day of school when I had them gather to the carpet for story time, I'd ask them the same question, "How many of you have a story read to you every day or night at your house?" 99.9% of the time, five hands would shoot up in the air out of a class of twenty five! REALLY? It saddened me to think that these children were missing out on so much, so early in their lives by something that I assumed every American household did with their children...to read to them, or introduce them to books. So, every year, it was my mission to change that.
Each week, during playtime, I'd take 3-5 children to go with me to the school's library to show them what a wealth of knowledge awaited them among those shelves...they each were allowed to choose three books to bring back to our class and place in our Library corner to share with the rest of the class. Not only did I read to them, they'd "read" to each other. We journalled weekly - they'd draw a picture in their blank journals and then dictate their stories to me to write. I collaborated with a fourth grade teacher who had students who needed an extra "boost' with their reading skills by having them make weekly visits to my classroom...we'd divide my class into small groups around the room and these "big kids" would read to the "littles" -- it helped build their self confidence by helping my class. I started a lending library where parents could sign out books each week and then return them. When the hot Florida weather would cool down in the fall and winter, we'd carry out crates of books to sit outside on quilts in the sunshine and read. I'd like to think that I helped the hundreds of kids that came in through my classroom doors each year to develop and maintain a love of reading.
Are there any fond memories that you have from your childhood that involves reading and a love of books?