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Books Really Do Make It Better

Kathryn Young Thompson

I’ve been working to get my first grader reading for years now and he’s taken things at his own pace.  When my daughter was his age, she was devouring chapter books but Magoo prefers to say he doesn’t like reading.  I don’t buy it.  I see the look in his eyes when he reads and understands a line of text.  I see the proud grin on his face when he finishes a big picture book.

Reading changes Magoo’s world.  He’s now in on all the big secrets, a liberated learner.  Now that he’s a reader, his life is limitless.  Earlier this week, I pulled out a chapter book and asked him to try and read along with me.  And he did.  What?  Out of nowhere, he was suddenly reading words like “distance,” and “highest,” and “whispered,” when I swear that a week ago he was having trouble with the word, ”home” because the role of the “E” was too confusing. 

Suddenly he’s a reader and he giggles as he reads.  With each big word revelation, I drop my jaw and open my eyes really wide and he giggles some more and keeps reading.  Everything is better now that he’s a mastermind of literacy.  And now that he’s reading, he wants me to read to him more too.  So we’re going through several books a day and we both love it.

In my excitement this week, and there are really few things in life more exciting than watching an emergent reader, my mind has been repeatedly drawn to all the kids and families out there who don’t have books in their homes, who aren’t able to cultivate and feed this fire.

I’m proud to know Jen and Renee and Meghan and hear about all they’re doing to promote literacy through their organization Books Make it Better.  They partner with Reach Out and Read to gather books and distribute them to children who otherwise might not have access to books in their homes.

Their big fall drive ends in a couple of days, so please read Jen’s post and consider making a donation to their virtual book drive to help them bring the amazing gift of reading to more children.  Books really do make it better and you can easily take a step to help make books available to every child.

Kathryn Thompson is a mom to two school-aged kids, a toddler and a deceased betta fish. She can also be found at The Parenting Post, and occasionally the gym.