Every week, for the past four years I have made the trek from my office to the public school down the street to meet with the same little girl and read her stories while she enjoys her lunch. The program is something my office sponsors through the Everybody Wins, Metro Boston Powerlunch Program, a national nonprofit that supports children’s literacy and mentorship. Today was the last day, and I have to say I’m pretty sad, yet proud, that my kid is graduating to a new school.
When we met, my partner was five years old, in 1st grade and was barely reading “See Spot Run” But by the end of this year, she is 4th grade, 10 years old, probably a foot taller, and we were finishing a beautifully illustrated version of Wind and the Willows…. with enthusiasm!
The commitment has literally been a half hour each week x 30 weeks x 4 years.. it comes out to about 60 hours, but in those 60 hours I have not only read countless numbers of picture books, but I have also made a great friend and I like to think I have helped her to always love and appreciate a good story. It was also a fun experience for me, a weekly trip down memory lane into the lives of some of my favorite long lost friends.
Some of my favorite memories as a kid were when my parents read to me. I can still hear my dad saying “the Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the BIG HUNGRY BEAR” and my mom reading “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” so many times she knew it by heart.
And I think its fair to say that the art of children’s book illustrations are far underrated. Books provide kids with their earliest exposure to art of all sorts of different mediums.
I know this post is quite off topic for me, but I guess what I’m trying to say is READ to your kids. I don’t have kids, but I am certain that some of my readers do- and I have to imagine that most people here at least KNOW a kid who would benefit from having someone to read with. Wherever, whenever, there is no better bonding experience, no better gift you can give than reading aloud and enjoying a story. And definitely check out Powerlunch if you are looking for a way to give back to your own community- they are all over the country!
This post is scattered with some of my favorite stories. What stories were your favorite to read a loud as a child?