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Guest Blog by Martha Rodriquez, author of A Reel Cool Summer. @AReelCoolSummer
When I was an adult literacy tutor it pained me to see the struggles that my student went through to read the words that I had learned as a child. He was a very smart man in his 80s who had lived a wonderful life. He was married, had children and grandchildren, had started and run several businesses and was a very productive member of society. He knew his Bible from cover to cover from all those years of listening to it being read at home and in church. He also knew how to make you think he could read. It’s a defense mechanism that many non-readers use; a way of coping with their reality. I couldn’t blame him for pretending to read. I probably would have done the same thing.
With a bit of convincing from his wife of over 60 years he decided it was time to learn to read, for real this time. He was such an inspiration to me. He worked so very hard each time we met, and read on his own or to his wife on the days we couldn’t. I always wondered how much better his life would have been if he had been able to read. He could have helped his children with homework, or enjoyed a great book or the daily paper. He could have expanded his knowledge. Now, in his 80s, he was literally turning the page on a new life!
We all want our children to read and comprehend so that their lives may be filled with all the wonder that awaits them. But, let’s face it, not everyone likes to read. I was a reluctant reader. It had to be the perfect book at the perfect time or I wouldn’t read it. Let’s not even talk about books the teacher assigned. Yikes, those were the worst!
As I got older I did enjoy writing and it was because of it that I got interested in reading. If I have good ideas maybe others do, too, I thought. Guess what! Others did! They had great ideas that took me on amazing journeys to other worlds and into others’ minds. Now, I like to encourage kids to find the writer in him or herself because they just may find the reader as well.
Right now on my blog, http://areelcoolsummer.blogspot.com/2015/03/100-days-til-summer-countdown-begins.html, we’re counting down 100 Days ’til Summer with one new writing prompt every day. It began on Friday, March 13th with a scary one and will continue until Sunday, June 21st, the first day of summer. We’ve already pretended to be abducted by aliens, we’ve done a Mad-Lib type prompt about What I did on my Summer Vacation, we’ve pretended to be magicians, we’ve had an interesting photo prompt, and much more! I hope you’ll join us there for a new prompt each day.
Thank you parents, teachers, librarians and tutors for what you do every single day to instill a love of reading and writing in our children. There are many wonders on each page, written or read.