I just finished reading the first two chapters of the first book of a favorite family classic to my youngest this evening. The whole family has been anxiously waiting for him to get to first grade so he can begin the journey into this first book in the series. What a magic evening I have had just sitting together with him sharing the beginnings of a great adventure. His excitement and anticipation was catching. Yes, a very good moment tonight!

As I reflect about my day at Joyner, I realize that I have seen that celebration of reading all day. I walked into our PreK classroom to see two boys sitting together on the rocking chair. Between them, they were holding a book containing Letterland characters. Together they were singing about each letter on the page.

In Ms. Thompson’s first grade during recess, I loved the relaxed nature of a student having a snack while consumed in her book. A student who usually will stop everything to greet was so involved in her book she didn’t even look up. Another student was captivating as she read her story she was creating through a combination of words, letters and pictures. Her vivid imagination shined through her story as she read to me.

Again, I continued to walk down that same first grade hallway to discover our fifth graders partnered in the hallway reading together an article. Both were huddled into what they were reading and discussing the content without even looking up. When I walked into Ms. Arch’s room, she was making every effort to ask students to wrap up their independent reading time. I loved watching her students try to finish up a last page before closing up the book.

Back into the main entry of our building, Mr. Zimmerman’s class spread out onto the different benches and seating. All of the students had their noses deep into their books. It was such a relaxed atmosphere that the younger grade level of students passing by quietly watched what those big kids were doing.

School is a wonderful place to work and be each day. There are so many reasons of course. But there is truly a magical gift in seeing the written word so celebrated. Students in every grade level work hard to conquer the task of learning to read. Each level has a different frame to view what letters and pictures and words do on a page. Teachers from each grade take the students to the next level of depth in what print has to offer.

I know the task isn’t always easy. I know our students have to work hard to figure out what reading is all about. But I am so thankful in the moments like today when I see students doing it. I celebrate all of our readers on their journey!

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