When I was younger, we had a very strict rule in my home, “no books at the dinner table”. Yes, that’s what I said, “NO BOOKS AT THE DINNER TABLE.” I suppose for some children, there are worse rules to have, but for me, well, that was like the kiss of death.
I have always been a bookworm, and many of my early memories revolve around books. I still have my copy of The Secret Garden, a gift that my parents got me before they took me to see the Broadway show. I still have my signed copy of Pete and Lily, by Amy Hest, a treasure that I received when the author came to my elementary school. Another prized book possession? An autographed copy of Home: A Memoir of My Early Years, by Julie Andrews. Of all the high school assemblies I attended in my lifetime, one that is burned into my brain is when Jodi Picoult came to speak to my junior class.
My love affair with literature continued into my adult life, giving me solace, comfort, and an escape when necessary. I remember diving into Commencement, by J. Courtney Sullivan, during my own career/college transitions, and, most recently, The Violets of March by Sarah Jio, has been a lifeline in a devastating heartbreak. Books have always been my constant, my comfort, and perhaps even my strength.
What exactly am I getting at? I’m not naive enough to believe that every student is going to become a bookworm, but I am certain in my conviction that every student must leave school knowing how to read, and knowing how to read well. Focusing on literacy and the arts is so vitally important to the success of our schools, and yet it seems that we have gotten away from it all. I’m not knocking the iPads, the iPhones, Facebook , and Twitter. Truly. All I’m saying, is that before you download a new app, for yourself OR your child, take a trip to the library first.
Live, Love, Learn
The Write Teacher