Raise them to be readers

We all have them, favorite pictures of our babies…be they traditional or fur. This is one of my favorites;

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I love that they have been buried in books, picture or otherwise, from before they could sit by themselves. As a writer, and a reader myself, it makes me feel like I did something right to give them the firm foundation for learning that would get them through this thing called life. I hope that’s always true.

One of my girls recently did an activity with a group at a camp called a “privilege walk”. Essentially, the group all starts on the same line, different things are brought up and based on them, you either move forward or backward from the baseline. Things like, ‘If one or both of your parents have a college degree, take 2 steps forward.’ Or, conversely, ‘If you have missed a meal because there was no food in the house, take 4 steps backward.’ It was an enlightening exercise for the group as they saw where different people in their peer group landed after all the movement was done. Not everyone they presumed was privileged was at the front, nor was everyone they thought underprivileged at the back.

Why do I tell you this? For a couple of reasons.

ONE, because one of the items was, “If you have more than 50 books in your home, OR you have a library card, take 3 steps forward, if not, take two steps back.” My daughter was the only one who got to move forward. It made a HUGE impression, on her and the group.

Secondly, because there is an adage about ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’ that was reinforced by this activity, but also the perspective that in the activity it did not say if you have 50 novels…it said 50 books. It is really so monumental an advantage to have 50 books? Evidently it is.

Where we are and where we are going are hard enough without being told that it isn’t good enough, or in this case a better, bigger, longer book. Raise them to be readers…whatever they can read, whatever they will read, if they are yours or not. The holiday season is upon us and I think a book would make a wonderful gift, don’t you?

-Savannah

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