These fan stories, testimonials, successes, and struggles are not only inspiring, but often make us feel more connected, and can help us in our own efforts to support reading in our families and communities.
‘We always read to my son, for as long as I can remember. He showed no interest in LEARNING to read though. At the end of kindergarten, he could barely read an “Elephant and Piggie” book, but he still loved to hear stories. In 1st grade, everything just clicked. That summer before 2nd grade he read "Harry Potter". This year he entered 3rd grade, and his options are endless." ~ S.D.
"My son, who turned 5 this month, loves to hear mysteries. We have read several Boxcar Children books. We read the first Hardy Boys book last week. At Kohl's the other day, he crawled out from under a clothing rack yelling, "Momma, we have to alert store security. There has been a crime and I am holding one of the clues!" He had an empty earring box in his hand. He turned the empty box in to a cashier and then stated that he would continue to look for clues to solve the mystery of the missing jewels." ~ K.L.
"My friend took her 2 year old with her to her 20 week ultrasound - when they told their daughter that she'd be getting a baby brother, she immediately said, 'always copying' and then went on to recite the rest of Olivia." ~ K.S.
A working mother in Alabama raised her son in a self-proclaimed “tough neighborhood.” He now attends Tufts University. When asked if she read to her son she said, “He always had his nose in a book. To be truthful, the library was a free, air-conditioned place I could close my eyes a bit after work. We spent a lot of time there when he was growing. I still feel guilty about that."
RWITAP sat down with her and explained current research on early childhood exposure to books and that their time in the library most likely had a powerful influence on his education.
Your local public library not only has plenty of children’s books to choose from, but also offers other services. You can check online for your branch’s in-library story time, access internet podcasts, find links to kid-friendly media sites, and download audio books and e-books. In Eastern Massachusetts, your library card not only gains you access to the library in your town, but also to other libraries in the Minuteman Library Network. One benefit? You can request library holdings (books, DVDs, etc.) to be sent to your branch for you to pick up when they arrive. Find out what services your local branch offers.
From Emily's Kids PartyCentral [fb]:
"Had to share: I went to a great Dialogic Reading meeting today at my daughter's school and it was great! I consider myself to be a great reader and my daughter loves books, but I am always looking to get better so this meeting had excellent tips. We also received 6 great new books and a plush parrot along with reading tips, my daughter is excited about getting home to them! :) Here is one of the acronyms we discussed - P.E.E.R sequencing P- Prompting your child on key parts of the book E- Evaluating what is happening in the story E- Expand on what your child is saying R- Repeating- ask the child to repeat (in a complete sentence) what you just expanded on. BTW: HAPPY TEACHER APPRECIATION DAY TO ALL THE TEACHERS!
RWITAP: Such an amazing opportunity! Thank you so much for sharing. We love the P.E.E.R. acronym too.
When finances are tight, one way to keep your child’s library fresh is to plan a book exchange with other families. Determine a number of books everyone will contribute, then let the kids select some new favorites.
Has your child been inspired by a book yet? A fan of Reading with Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers mentioned that her young son asked to make a lemon meringue pie after reading Amelia Bedelia several times. We would love to hear how books inspire the young ones in your home.
"It has been raining here for going on 4 days straight! My little's were starting to get a bit loopy ;) so I decided to make them a new reading spot. I completely emptied out one of their large bedroom closets and hung a sheer valance up on the open side and put some blankets and pillows in, they followed suit and brought the books in! I think we will keep this spot for a while." ~ Emily Kathryn
“About 6 years ago I got together with some mums from school, and we made story sacks for the children. We picked a book, set about making props/puppets/dress up clothes & an audiotape too, made huge sacks for it all to be kept in and the children love them! I feel really proud to see them in school still & to know we have brought some stories to life for kids. (My 6 year old now uses them!)”
[Story Sack pic from Little Miss Butterfly]
“What I love best about reading with my kids is that it’s the one time of day that I know is going to be lovely. We are usually snuggled up all together and then we are all engaged in the same book. Usually we laugh, (sometimes I cry), we think, or discuss, or just take it all in, but at the end of a long day, it’s the time I most look forward to.” ~ Parent to RWITAP
“My son isn’t even three yet, and he already has his very own library. It took me 35 years to amass my bookshelf full of books. I can’t wait to see what his library will look like - or how well-read he will be - when he is 35.” ~Parent to RWITAP
"My babies were born 16 weeks prematurely. For us, the easiest way to connect with them, and to feel we were contributing to their care, was by reading out loud to them. We posted what we were reading, and books started appearing at the hospital, on our doorstep, and in the mail. We filled their NICU drawers with books. By the time we came home, 4 months after birth, there were over a hundred! This motivated us to donate a read aloud library to our NICU so all parents have an opportunity to share this experience. Now, my surviving son is one and has books in baskets in every room in our house!" ~ Leila Manning
"Lots of people want workout rooms, which I could stand to have , but my life dream is to have a little house out in our woods that will hold all my books and my child's books so we can go out and read all day on Saturdays sometimes...She loves to read and has since she was old enough to hold a book ...books are so wonderful!!" ~ Susan Brankley Lane
"...My (just) 2-year-old. She absolutely LOVES her books and I always have the 25 books maximum we're allowed to borrow from the library plus all the ones she owns. My partner says we will need a bigger house for all the family's books. Lovely, I say, then we can have a library all of our very own :)" ~ Alison Goldsmith
“Books were my pass to personal freedom. I learned to read at age three, and soon discovered there was a whole world to conquer that went beyond our farm in Mississippi."
~ Oprah Winfrey
If you have a story you'd like to share, we welcome you to send it to us. Email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org