Welcome to Friday’s edition of Share a Story, Shape a Future! Today’s topic is The Gift That Keeps on Giving.
Literacy is a gift. It can’t be wrapped, it doesn’t fit in a box, and it doesn’t look fancy. But it’s the gift that fits every person, regardless of race, creed, sex, background. Literacy is the gift that keeps on giving. Here at Share a Story, Shape a Future, we want to make sure that every child is given this important gift.
As a teacher, I share the gift of literacy with my students every day, and it’s my favorite aspect of teaching. As a high school teacher, I have a huge bookshelf in my room, and a rotating display of books on the edges of my whiteboards. I also have a shelf in the front of my room devoted to new books and ARCs that I bring in. Whenever I have time, I booktalk- whether to individuals, small groups, or the class as a whole. And this year I am trying something new- digital booktalks. I have been posting book trailers on our class Edmodo page, and students reply to the entry if they are interested in the book. It’s been a great way to booktalk even when I am unable to do so in class. Plus, my kids are very tech-oriented so the trailers really meet them where they are.
There is no better feeling than seeing a child connect with a book for the first time. Except maybe seeing them reconnect as a tween/teen. Both moments are very special. Recently, one of my seniors stopped me as she walked out of class on a Friday afternoon. “Thank you for reminding me that I love to read”, she whispered as she handed back a stack of books she had borrowed over the course of the semester. Needless to say, I spent the rest of the day beaming.
That was her gift to me. I think was the one who got the better end of the deal. There is nothing like sharing reading and writing with kids. Nothing like it in the world.
How can you give the gift that keeps giving? It doesn’t take any life-changing ideas. It just takes time.
Maybe you don’t enjoy reading fiction, but you start every morning with the newspaper. Take a few minutes each morning and sit down together. Point out articles your child will enjoy. Fill out the crossword puzzle together.
Or maybe you love to end each night by journaling. Children of any age can journal, too!
Love to read magazines? Get your child a magazine subscription.
The possibilities are endless. But literacy truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Below, a few authors share their own gifts.
Writer’s With Stories to Tell
“One of the most exciting moments of my life as a parent was when my son Josh (my firstborn) learned to read, because I knew that a whole world was opening up for him. We’ve shared so many wonderful books over the years, but here I talk about one of the first books he read to me.”
- Pamela Voelkel, one half of the writing duo behind the Middleworld trilogy, shares how the gift of reading has been shared in her family.