I am blessed to have heard a ton of reading success stories through the years. Another story that I just heard yesterday thrills me to no end.
The success is a Kindergartner named Justin. I have known Justin and his family since he was an infant. He has an older brother, Carson, who is now in upper elementary, that I absolutely adore as well.
The fellas used to come to the library for storytime when they were preschoolers before their mother went to work. Occasionally they would stop by the library in the afternoon and peruse the shelves for books or play games or blocks as well.
One year they even baked Christmas ornament cookies and decorated them for me. At the library, I still put out that little tree each year with those ornaments.
When visiting the library, Carson would always talk with me about his favorite stories. Being the little brother, Justin would often sit quietly looking at board books, or listen in on our tales.
The crux of the situation was that their beautiful young mother was raising the boys mostly on her own. Before she went to work, I know there was worry about getting library materials, not knowing if she would be able to return them on time.
But still, she understood the importance of early literacy. She always made sure her sons had plenty of books in their young lives.
Imagine the look on my face (and the tears in my eyes) when yesterday, Justin's mother told me that Justin has been tested in Kindergarten reading above 3rd grade level. She told me she thought I would like to know that. BOY HOWDY!!!!! DO I!!!
She said Carson is so proud of his little brother that he will tell classmates that Justin has corrected him on HIS reading! And, trust me, Carson is an excellent student as well.
Please, please read to your bunny! If I could convince the world that reading to your child (shoot, to your belly when you're pregnant!) will give them 1) imagination 2) excellent vocabulary and communication skills 3) problem solving skills and 4)a leg up on life - I would feel I accomplished my job as a children's librarian.
My theme - "When you can read, you can soar." Believe it, folks. And I believe young Justin is eagle material!