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Inside Practically Paradise

Baby Steps to Reading

I love my new school and the opportunities I have to help students. One of the biggest areas for my attention is the need to improve the reading collection so that students WANT to read. I’ve been asking students what they like to read about so I can provide a better collection. Since many are non-readers, their answer is usually “I don’t like to read.” Then I start talking about ideas and concepts to try to spark links in their minds with their interests to their reading. I know – BABY STEPS.

How often do you as experienced teachers and librarians dismiss the importance of these steps or take your talent for seeking this information for granted? We are helping students grasp the concept that they are readers. We are opening their eyes to the wonders of what books (in any format) and reading can be.

A dear friend of mine who is an adult non-reader of books does not understand why I believe with my total being of the importance of creating this link between the child and learning through reading. He admits he is a reader of computer screens, manuals on computer, news on computer, etc., but considers that he is a non-reader because he does not see any joy in reading a book, magazine, or newspaper. “What’s the big deal if a kid doesn’t want to read a book?” he asked me. How would you answer this question?

I’ve had to take a step back to making coming to the library a wonderful experience and something to look forward. I’ve had to broaden the types of titles I’m introducing so I can provide some of those exciting moments with books that we were able to experience growing up if we had a parent who read to us.

I’m learning and growing as I reach my students. In the next several weeks expect blog posts about what is and isn’t working. I’m not ever pretending to be an expert, but I am willing to share my steps with you. You are welcome to provide suggestions for improvements. Help me take my students through those baby steps to reading.