Sunday, August 8, 2010

Currently Making Me Happy

Books - millions and zillions of beautiful books.

I love these books!  I don't quite have millions and zillions of them but someone donated roughly 200 or more of these leveled books.  They happen to be from my favorite company too which makes the gift even sweeter.  I'm excited that my kids are going to have so much quality stuff to read. 

As I sat leveling these books, I thought about what a difference the ability to read can make in a life.  The last year I taught in Georgia I had a little boy who was quite the troublemaker at the beginning of the school year.  In fact, I caught him stealing the first week of school.  It was only after he qualified for the Reading Recovery program and spent several months of intensive one on one time with a teacher learning how to read, that I realized that his bad behaviour was evidence of the frustration he felt over his inability to decipher the words on a page.  His behaviour improved exponentially once he learned to read.  He was no longer a problem in the classroom and other teachers noticed the difference, too.  Learning to read literally changed his path.

That same year, the janitor that cleaned my classroom retired.  It was only near the end of his time at the school that I learned that he was illiterate.  At his retirement party, he had to hand the cards he received over to his wife because he couldn't read.  I wonder how his life would have been different if he had only learned how to read.

Teaching children to read is such a privilege and maybe, just maybe, it will change their lives.

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