I went to the library today! I left, struggling with an armload of books by some of my favorite authors, Kellerman, Sanford, Block. I lovingly placed the books in the back of my car, envisioning myself on the couch, deck, gazebo, curled up with one of my books, lost in the story. I am also a Nook owner , but I love the feel of a book in my hand. I would read it at lunchtime, with only the light from my desk lamp illuminating each page. I relished those 20 minutes, lost in a book or my Nook.
As you might have guessed, I am an avid reader. I’m one of those people who writes Reading as their hobby. I was that kid, devouring a book, while the other kids played in the street. I’m the teacher, who reads in her dimly lit room, instead of eating in the Teacher’s Lounge.
I tried to pass my love of reading to my students. I managed to snag a few of them when I read “Series of Unfortunate Events” aloud. I also made a habit of giving them a little teaser of whatever I was reading at the time. But too many of them weren’t interested. There are too many obstacles that block kids from experiencing the joy of a good book. Video games, lack of books at home, television, video games. It’s difficult enough to get them to read during the school year, the summer is a killer!
Educators, along with others, have begun to fight back! My son’s district started a “one book-one district” requirement last year. My son read, The Hunger Game” last year and really enjoyed it. This year, they are required to read, “The Uglies” and ” The Things a Brother Knows”, he’s already started, and my son is not a fan of books.
My school, like many others, have begun opening the school library during the summer. Our school will be open to the community every Wednesday, and our librarian will be there so the students can check out books.
There are websites that encourage reading over the summer, we used the Scholastic Summer Challenge last year. Good program, but unfortunately not many of our kids participated. I recently found out about another one, Ivillage PBS Kids Summer Reading Community Challenge from 5MinutesforBooks.com.
Local libraries usually have reading programs where incentives are offered. TDBank offers a Summer Reading program as well, with an incentive of $10 in a Savers Account. What a great idea!
I’ve read the about what happens to students who don’t read during the summer. I’ve experienced, year after year, the difficulty of teaching students who have not picked up a single book during their break.
But all is not lost! There were four librarians working the desk at my library, and I still had to wait in line! Only one person in the line had DVDs in their hand, the rest, adults and children, had books. Reading is still alive and well!
“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them” Joseph Brodsky