As we are leading up to World Read Aloud Day on March 5th, I decided to join Matthew Winner’s WRAD Raising Our Voices Blogging Challenge! This weeks’ topic is to share your earliest memories of read-alouds, so here goes!
When I was about 4 years old, my parents took the church youth group on a trip and I got to stay with my sweet Nannie, my maternal grandmother. I remember cuddling up on her couch with a crocheted blanket (probably a ripple afghan) covering us as we read through some of the encyclopedia. Somehow I think that chocolate chip cookies were involved in this read-aloud experience, too. I don’t really remember how we selected which volume we would read from, but on this particular night we were reading the “P” volume.
Nannie knew just how to spark my curiosity! She would let me breeze through the pictures in the encyclopedia and I would point out an interesting one for us to read about and talk about together. I remember my Nannie telling me all about Louis Pasteur (that’s how I know it was the “P” volume) and the pasteurization process (at 4 years old I did not have a clue about this). At such an early age I didn’t realize that I was learning something new, only that I loved spending time with my grandmother and books! There is something truly special about snuggling up on a warm couch with a blanket and someone that you love more than words can describe and sharing a great book (or an entry in a volume of the World Book encyclopedia). That set of encyclopedias was often read when I visited my grandparents’ home.
My little boy (he’s 5) and I now read aloud every night. I hope that his memories of reading aloud are pleasant and cozy, like my memories with Nannie. Reading with children from an early age can make a huge difference in their early reading progress. My hope is that all of my students can find a book they truly enjoy and can read it with someone they love.
I am excited about World Read Aloud Day on March 5th because my students will have the opportunity to share some of their favorite books with students across the country! This school year I have tried to instill in my students a giving spirit by having them make bookmarks for Skype friends and write letters to senior citizens. I would like for my students to make something simple to send to the students that we visit with via Skype, but I haven’t settled on anything definite yet. In the past our school has shared great books via Skype with students from other schools. I am grateful for the connections that our school has made as a result of finding other dedicated library media professionals, such as Matthew Winner, Sarah Wendorf, Jenny Lussier, and Stacy Ford, through Twitter. The excitement and passion that these media specialists bring to students about their favorite books is contagious! I can’t wait to celebrate together! For additional ideas for World Read Aloud Day, visit Lit World.