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.