Monday, June 21, 2010

Cultivating Readers and Writers

I started this blog to share mentor texts that can be used with children to promote literacy.  As I have been welcomed into the book blogging community, I have realized just how many readers and writers there are out there!  I could talk about books all day and my husband teases me for making friends with workers at Barnes and Noble.  As a teacher I'm all about encouraging my students to read and helping them find just-right books.  As a parent, I read to my son everyday and he sees me reading all the time (as I type this he's sitting on the couch looking through a Disney story collection book, it's the most adorable thing ever!).  I'm super curious about readers and writers and what their lives are all about - mainly because I want to find the secret to helping my students become lifelong readers - but also because it's just interesting to me to get a glimpse into the lives of readers and writers.  

Cultivating Readers and Writers will be a new series where I talk about myself as a reader and a writer and interview other readers and writers.

To start off, I want to talk about reading as a social experience.  One of my clearest memories from my childhood is reading with my mom.  I distinctly remember waiting with her in the doctor's office when she was pregnant with my sister.  I had to have been about 5 years old.  We read Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr. Seuss.  I'm sure I asked her to read it more than once and together we chanted "Marvin K. Mooney, will you please go now????"  One of my most recent memories is of Peanut asking me to read a book last night.  He brought a book over and snuggled up super close next to me, at one point, he put his little hand on my arm.  I love being able to be close to him and to share reading with him (especially since he's 3 now and he's on the go most of the time...).  

Both of these memories make me think that the idea of reading with someone else and bonding with someone else while reading supports reading in general.  Babies and children who are read to come to associate reading with comfort and enjoyment.  Of course, children who are read to are exposed to the complexities and rhythm of language which will help them in school and with reading later in life, but the act of reading with a child, snuggling up close, and sharing the experience - talking about the stories - is a contributing factor to cultivating a lifelong reader.

Readers, do you have a memory like one of mine?  Of someone reading to you as a child or reading to a child?  Do you agree that the act of reading with someone is as important as reading in general in cultivating young readers?  Please, share!  

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