My life before simple A linear path filled with a fairly predictable routine Then, one hot summer day… The library presented an irresistible challenge Itching with anticipation! Waited for what seemed like eternity! The mission was to read 20 books! The reward? A yo-yo! The latest spinning craze Allowing gravity to unwind the string Lighting up the world of so many participating children Embarking the reading journey while “walking the dog around the world” 😉
Years later Just when I think the yo-yo has disappeared into the locked vault of yesteryear’s fads My serious concentration questioning employers at a cyber job fair was broken!
Genuinely smiling Filled with overwhelming nostalgia A blue yo-yo! Gleaming against the black tablecloth Idaho National Laboratory “You made my day!” Your motto? The energy of innovation! Indeed! 🙂
We are at the end of Becky’s #JulySquares challenge! Thank you Becky for hosting it! I enjoyed scanning my environment for blue things. I’ve created a collage with a few photos from my busy month of July. Enjoy! 🙂
1. Your photographic square could be a ‘Bolt from the Blue’ – something unexpected or surprising
2. Alternatively why not, like I have today, explore ‘Into the wide blue yonder‘ – sky, sea or maybe a location that is appealingly unknown and mysterious
3. Or if you prefer keep it simple with ‘Blue‘ – whether that’s azure, cobalt, sapphire, cerulean, navy, ultramarine, indigo, or turquoise
And if you’re feeling particularly adventurous try to combine two of these, or maybe even all three!
“There is no such thing as a child who hates to read; there are only children who have not found the right book.”
Fueling the Desire to Rise Up to the Challenge
This past school year I have been volunteering with a local youth literacy group helping improve the reading levels of two second graders. It all started when I was listening to a young girl I encountered while helping sell books and other types of media at a local flea market with my friends. She told me she hated reading and as a teacher’s pet, she only reads during school.
I have to admit that her statement stung a bit. The love of reading has been instilled in me ever since I was a young girl. The library is my second home and it was where I felt the mental freedom to explore. Even if it wasn’t hers, there are so many stories out there that I think she would enjoy!
At my school, there was a research symposium at my school where I read the poster about literacy research. According to its community profile, San Antonio has the 2nd highest illiteracy rate in Texas. According to the US Census 2005, even though it ranks 7th among US cities in population, it is 60th in literacy. (Source: City of San Antonio Planning and Development Services Department. Statistics and Map Book. Rev. February, 2010. )
After catching up with a former colleague who is now the youngest state representative in our state legislature and listening to his teaching experiences, I felt inspired and decided to sign up to be a volunteer to understand the common problems that these kids were facing.
Reading Buddy Experience
“Whenever you read a good book, somewhere in the world a door opens to allow in more light.”
I was pretty excited to learn more about the two students I was assigned to. I enjoyed learning about the boys’ families and friends, what they love, and what they want to be when they grow up. It was difficult at first because they didn’t like the books that the program had selected. So I invited the boys to browse the shelves for a book they would like. They introduced me to the world of Mo Willems. Apparently, they already treasured the adventures in any book written by Mo Willems.
“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he rereads.”
I showed them an atlas, and they seemed really excited to learn that there was a world outside their bubble. They enjoyed following along the words of my origami book. I read them stories from RL Stine and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I really enjoyed this experience, and come to deeply care about these kids.
“Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality, but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Do not take that gift of hope lightly. It has the power to conquer despair in the midst of sorrow, to light the darkness in the valleys of life, to whisper “One more time” in the face of failure. Hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.”