“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies … The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R. Martin
Following the National Education Association’s (NEA) trend … Westlake is celebrating Read Across America Month. Starting with National Read Across America Day on March 2nd, (Dr. Seuss’ birthday) each of our classrooms was littered with the lyrics of Dr. Seuss. From The Cat in the Hat to Oh, The Places You’ll Go, the hallways were quite alive with literature. Having taught literature for a good chunk of my career, I never believe a kid who says they don’t like to read. I say they just haven’t found the right book.
Thankfully, this month is all about enjoying language and the stories it has to tell us. One of the collective decisions across all of our classrooms is to participate in D.E.A.R. At any random moment throughout the day, the teacher calls out, “Drop everything and read,” and students grab a book, find a cozy corner, and dive into the delicious tales they choose. What I love the most, is that the teachers themselves join in the reading. Are you kidding!?! I get to read at work! Amen!
Studies show us that in order for children to “buy in” to reading, they need to have ownership of the titles they choose. They also need to see adults in their life reading by choice. By dedicating academic time to the importance of reading, students are inspired to believe that reading is worth our precious classroom time. It shows them, rather than telling them, that reading matters!
Oscar Wilde once said, “It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” If that is true, (and I believe it is) that means our students are literally helping form a stronger sense of self through their exposure to literature. What a blessing! Here are a few questions to help you extend “Read Across America” to your own homes. Talk about the answers with your kids … answer them yourselves! Find a heart for reading and enable your child to form a positive opinion about books from an early age. If you do – they will be readers!
Loving Literature Questions
* What books do you remember being read to you?
* What books do you identify with?
* What book character would you like to live the life of for one day?
* If you were trapped in a storybook forever, which would you choose?
* Who is your favorite author? Have you ever written them? They’d like it!
* What is your favorite book turned movie? Do you like the book or movie better?
* When were you SO into a book that you were sad when it was over?
* When was the last time you read to someone else? Do it now!
* Which book has the BEST illustrations? Why do you like them so much?
* Do you like fiction or nonfiction reading better? How come?
* Were you ever read to at school? What book?
* Do you ever imagine you’re the main character in the books you read?
* What book are you excited to read next?
* Have you ever thought about a family or friend book club? Complete with themed out snacks and cozy blankets?
Did you know that the Scholastic Book Fair is coming to Westlake? What a perfect opportunity to go shopping with your kids and discover their favorite genre together. On Friday, March 17th the Fair will be open before and after the Westlake’s Got Talent Show, then it will be open for a few days the following week.
If your child is in Pre-K through 2nd grade come join Mrs. DeReus on Thursday, March 23rd at 6:30 pm for Bedtime Story Night. If you would like more information, please email Mrs. DeReus.