Creating Lifelong Readers

This week I touched base with a former student whom I taught two years ago.  When I met her, she was a nonreader.  In fact, I think the words, “Reading is boring” came up more than once on her beginning of the year literacy profile.  I worked very hard that year to help her find her niche and books she liked.  We started with some easy books and she would only read those related to fashion in some way.  Slowly but surely we built up a rapport.  She read every fashion related book I could get my hands on.   By the end of the year she was a reader.  We made a summer reading plan and she had a page-long list of books she was looking forward to reading.

I had done all I could- I sent her off to middle school and crossed my fingers that the AR reading requirements wouldn’t turn her off to reading.  A few months later she contacted me via email, asking for more book recommendations.  She even shared some recommendations with me!  She was struggling with AR  a bit, but we managed to find some titles she enjoyed.  She was also reading non-required books and becoming even more of a reader.

Now, she is in 8th grade.  We spoke the other day and after exchanged pleasantries she asked for some book recommendations.

“Well, what kind of book do you feel like reading?  Are you still into realistic fiction?” I asked.

“You tell me, Miss M. I can and do read everything now!”

Music to my ears!

A lifelong reader has been born.  Two years after leaving my classroom and she is reading even more than she did in 6th grade.  And she no longer sticks to just one genre.  She reads from lots of genres and authors! It’s every teacher’s dream. :)

Oh, and my recommendations? The Hunger Games, Chains, What I Saw And How I Lied, and When You Reach Me.

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5 Responses

  1. The student was lucky to have you :)

  2. That’s wonderful :-) What a wonderful, lifelong gift you gave her. :-)

  3. That is so cool! What wonderful gift for you both.

  4. This is a teacher’s dream come true. As a librarian who runs several book clubs for students I am happy to hear what former students are reading!!

  5. Yay! I had a similar experience with a current student. Last year in 7th grade he declared himself a nonreader. His mother was really disappointed because the rest of the family loves to read. Getting this kid to read anything was a battle, and like most of his classmates, he was willing to take a reduced LA grade, rather than read and turn in a reading log. In the spring he got hooked on the 39 Clues series. Over the summer for summer reading he did the two required books, plus two others and was enjoying reading. His mom and sister recommended a book to him that he read and loved.
    When school started he declared to the class that his “high” for the summer was reading 4 1/2 books. He still is really proud of this! Since school has started he finished the book he was reading, devoured Skeleton Creek, and planned out what he was going to read while waiting for the second Skeleton Creek book. He was whipping out his book to read during other classes when he had done time!
    Now if I can “get to” some of the other nonreaders in that class. The Skeleton Creek book is working to hook some of them.

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