We Cultivate Readers

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Children emulate their role models. Are your children seeing the love of the written word in their home or classroom?

Last week I wrote about the teacher, Donalyn Miller and her masterpiece, The Book Whisperer. Her classroom is filled with books and reading is the focus. She’s read most of the titles her students read. Ms. Miller says, I do not promote reading to my students because it is good for them or because it is required for school success. I advocate reading because it is enjoyable and enriching.”

You’re right, that’s her job. We, as parents or grandparents, don’t have time to read all the books our children are reading, but if you read the blurb on the back or the first few chapters, you could then show your interest by asking specific questions. Above all, let them see you reading.

Reading can be exciting especially when shared with another that has read the same book.

Two of my granddaughters and I read last year’s  Newbery Award winner, The One and Only Ivan. We cried and laughed and shared a special memory together.  I should do this more often.

Findings from a 2007 Associated Press poll, reported in the Washington Post, indicate that the average adult American read only four books that entire year. This statistic does not tell the whole story; of the adults who read, their average was seven books, but 25 percent of the respondents did not read a book at all.

Miller’s book goes on to ask…Why aren‘t adults, even teachers, reading, and what is this doing to our students? Who will be our future role models for reading if we don’t produce any from our classrooms? Donalyn says, “It is popular to blame parents for their children’s disengagement from reading, but even parents who read to their children, take them to libraries, and model good reading habits at home have difficulty overcoming a reading wasteland in their children’s classrooms, where teachers may not read.”

I want to hear what you’re thinking.

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2 Responses to We Cultivate Readers

  1. cm4bleenmb64 says:

    I cannot imagine the void not reading would create in my life. Books are like food to me and as I grew up poor, the school library was my first real resource for a continual supply. But even before I was reading for myself (I started school in an era where most students learned their ABCs in Kindergarten) story-hour was my favorite part of the day. And even though my father read a lot for himself, I don’t remember being read to at home, so I guess it was a combination of the two–experience and example–that got to me. I personally feel that reading is an essential skill and a good public library should be considered as necessary to a community as fire and police departments are.

  2. CM4, thank you for stopping in and for your interesting viewpoint. I agree with you about good libraries.

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