“Reading is what I was born to do. Whenever I read it is like I have been set off to some ultra universe.” Yes, this is what a fifth grader from Ms. Lewis’ class wrote and shared with me this week. Unbelievable, right? The passion this student put into her writing about this subject blew me away. You will hear me talk about reading a lot. I love to read myself and am disappointed lately that I am so exhausted at night that the book keeps falling on my face because I have fallen asleep. My family is full of readers as well. Both my husband and I have tried to share our passion for books with our own children. And often when I see students walking in and out of the media center, I stop them to talk about books. I am hungry for new books to know and share. Reading this reflection by a fifth grader is beautiful.

I wanted to hear from my other students. So I walked down the hall to first grade. First grade is THE YEAR for reading. Teaching first grade I remember seeing my students grow from beginning readers to confident readers. Can a first grader talk about reading with as much passion?  I asked a student from Ms. Lyon’s class to tell me about reading. Immediately, she lit up. “I LOVE to read! The best thing about reading is that my brother taught me. I get sucked in to it. It’s like daydreaming.” How beautifully captured!

Reading is something to share. Reading is something to talk about. Both of these students talk about how reading captivates their creative selves. And I believe finding a way to engage all of our students in books that can captivate them is powerful. Not every child needs a fantasy to discover. Some students LOVE to read about things. I talked with two students in Ms. Wallace’s class as they read about rocks and minerals. They both clamored to see what else they could learn.

At my first meeting with the staff this year, I talked about my love of reading. I encouraged the staff to discover books and talk about books even more to students. Sharing our passion about our own reading models for our students.

I encourage parents to help find what captivates your child and look for books to put in their hands to match. Talk about books. Talk about what you love about reading. Maybe you love to read about the weekend sports. Talk about it! Talk with your kids about reading. Sharing the passion ignites our students.

And what I believe is most amazing is when students share their passion with us just as that fifth grader who shared her reflection with me. Thank you students for sharing your joy about reading!