Dec 31, 2009
Have you read that one book? For many of you who know what I’m talking about, you know what I mean, for others, you might be confused.
Remember that one book? That “one book” that makes sense, that helped you connect with the world, the one that you could not stop talking or thinking about. Have you read it?
I truly hope you have.
My goal in my adult life has been to help promote literacy. I’ve always wanted to help kids find that “one book.” For many children, the Harry Potter series was that “one book,” for others it might have been Twilight, Hunger Games or To Kill a Mockingbird. For those of us who are avid readers, we know the sweet richness that a good book can bring into our lives.
I’ve seen it happen in my home, in my classroom and while talking to people online, but once you see that fire lit and the desire to read bite someone it becomes an addiction. Unlike my white chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookie addiction, this habit is a good one.
Unfortunately for many people, that “one book” has yet to be discovered.
Think of a life without the imagination of Captain Hook or The Hardy Boys, missing the joy of flying on a broom or shuddering as you read about a woman and her Scarlett Letter. Picture your life without that one book. See that one book doesn’t just ignite you for a moment, it lights your way to other books. Your mind begins to dream and rise above the clouds, eventually your heart follows and you realize anything is possible. All of this came from that one book.
Which brings me to the point of this blog entry.
The start of a new year, and a new decade often bring about “resolutions” that should prompt us to improve ourselves. This year I’d like to ask you to share something to improve someone else.
One Book –
It’s that simple, just share a book. How you share it is up to you. Donate a book to your library, take an old book from your shelf and just leave it at the mall, just share the written word with those around you. Share one book with the world. You might not know whose life it touches. (of course I’d suggest sharing Harry Potter, but the choice of books is up to you)
If you are a teacher, librarian or a school administrator I’d like to suggest something else. Start a new “Read it forward” movement in your community. This movement involves creating a common schema (or prior knowledge for those non-education-lingo speakers) for a large group of students. This “One Book, One School, One Community” movement helps promote literacy in a community by giving students one common piece of literature they’ve all shared. (You can read the details here in Education World.)
I am part of a program like this in my own district. We held a pep rally featuring drill teams, drum lines and a pie eating contest for our own reading of Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie. (Yes, I took a pie in the face for literacy) The experience has been so rewarding as I sit back and listen to the kids talk about the book. Even more rewarding was standing in line at Kroger listening to two moms discuss the book unknowing that I was a teacher in the district.
One of the greatest ways to help improve the world around us is to improve the literacy of it’s occupants. This year I encourage you to share one book with the world.
Have a safe and wonderful 2010!