STEP 1 READ…READ….READ
Mrs. Monroe sat across from me and looked nervously around the classroom. Something was on her mind. When I went to the office yesterday to check my mail box, I noticed a note from the office secretary.
“Please call Nathan Monroe’s mother to schedule an appointment. She says it is urgent.”
Nine-year old Nathan, a strong willed, precocious student, was always laughing. Although his laughter was sometimes inappropriate, he was never disrespectful. He was a pleasure to have in my class. For the past week, he had not marked anything on the classroom chart…READERS UNITE…to track reading outside of school. The chart was an incentive to get my students to support each other’s efforts. Nathan’s grades were beginning to slip and he did not seem quite as happy. I was glad Mrs. Monroe had requested a meeting. That was one less call I had to make.
Mrs. Monroe wanted me to know about her recent separation from Nathan’s father. She wanted to know if I had noticed anything different about him. It was important to her that I be informed about the situation and that she and Nathan’s father were committed to the academic success of their only child.
Through reaching out, Mrs. Monroe was following up on my back to school message.
“Please call me if you have any concerns about your child’s progress. I’m here for you. Your child’s success is my number one priority”
Nathan’s homework was always neatly submitted and was always on time. Fortunately, living with his mom during the week and spending weekends with his dad did not seem to have a major impact on his ability to complete assignments. But, Nathan’s after school football practice schedule and saxophone lessons often interfered with reading for pleasure. At Back to School Night, I informed parents that reading outside of school is vital to every student’s success.
To help Nathan get back on track I recommended:
“CHILDREN WHO READ WELL (AND OFTEN) DO BETTER IN OTHER SUBJECTS, AND IN ALL ASPECTS OF SCHOOL AND BEYOND, BE AN INFORMED CITIZEN, COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY, EARN A HIGHER SALARY, SUCCEED IN ONE’S CHOSEN CAREER, ACHIEVE PERSONAL FULFILLMENT”
DAN GIOIA, CHAIRMAN OF THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, ARE FROM THE 2007 NEA REPORT “TO READ OR NOT TO READ,”
I assured Mrs. Monroe that Nathan’s success was my priority. Further, she was encouraged to make reading for pleasure a regular routine. Make visits to the local library and create a special time to read for enjoyment. Finally, I let her know that I would reach out to Mr. Monroe to ensure that we were all on the same page. She assured me that she would share the information with Nathan’s father and they would work together to make sure that no matter what, their son would READ…READ…READ.
Feel free to comment below and share how you help our child read for pleasure. If you haven’t yet incorporated this technique, please share how you plan to make reading a priority in your home.
Next week, we explore Step 2….READ WITH YOUR CHILD EVERY DAY.
May you be filled with love, laughter, and literacy!
In honor of the children,
The Literacy Whisperer