We are currently reading and discussing The Book Whisperer on the Mosaic list. The discussion has been interesting and is focusing us on beginning the school year. Donalyn Miller focuses on creating a passion for reading in our students.
I have always been an avid reader. Reading this book makes me wonder what my spark for this was. I often wonder, is being a "reader" a gene we are born with, or is it something that is created. I would have to say that in my family there are many avid readers. I credit my dad with sparking this interest in me, as well as my grandmother. My whole life I watched them read and devour books. I have many memories of my dad taking me early on Sunday mornings to the "big" Barnes and Noble in Manhattan. Remember, years ago there wasn't a "big" Barnes and Noble in every neighborhood. I always loved the smell and feel of a new book. In any event, I read so many great books in my childhood, and never was told that I couldn't.
The sad thing is that I don't have any memories of school being involved in my passion for reading. Not one! I can't even recall books I read in school. Isn't that sad. It truly makes me wonder about the role of school vs home in developing readers. While I realize that not all students have the homelife I did, I still think that it is critical for students to have some support at home. We can't possibly do it all for our students in one year. We can, as Donalynn outlines in her book work our best to spark the interest, but we have to rely on others to cultivate it.
For great ideas on how to spark that interest in our students I hope you drop by our book discussion. We would love to hear your ideas!