Tag Archives: Changing Lives

Early Childhood Education Changes Lives

15 May

On November 13, 2009, I added a postcript to this post  about a young man who spent most of my visit to his school crying. I was able to talk to him, in Spanish, and reassure him that everything was okay. It was his first week of preschool.

This week I made my last visit of the school year to his preschool. He’s still there. In a year and a half, he’s become a confident, sweet, smiling little guy. He speaks to me in accented, but very good, English.

Next year he’ll be in Kindergarten, and I won’t see him.  I will miss him. I wish I could follow him and find out how he progresses in life. I have a feeling, though, that he’s gonna be great.

Never doubt that Early Childhood Education changes lives.

Reading together is a chocolate experience.

6 Oct

I ♥ Mem Fox.  Not only for her amazing picture books, including Time For Bed,  Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes, and Wombat Divine, but for the enthusiasm she so obviously has for the power of reading with young children.  Nowhere is this enthusiasm so evident as in her book (for grown-ups) Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever.  When I give presentations to parents about early literacy, I often start by reading an excerpt from this book which I think perfectly illustrates how the simple act of sharing books together will help prepare a child to learn to read.  Fox describes an episode in her daughter Chloe’s life, when Chloe came home from kindergarten one day and declared that she could read (and then proved it, by reading all the way through The Foot Book).  Incredulous, Fox tested her daughter’s ability (and making sure she hadn’t simply memorized the book) by opening to random pages and having Chloe read them.  The next day Fox visited her daughter’s school to speak with the teacher:

“What did you do?” I asked, agog.  “What method did you use? It’s a miracle!”

“I didn’t do much,” she said.  “How could I?  She’s only been in my class for two weeks.  You must have read to her often before she came to school.”

“Of course,” I said.

“Well, there you go,” said the teacher, as if that were that. (Fox, p.2)

It really is as simple as that.  Read to your kids, and someday, your kids will read to you.

Fox, Mem.  Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Kids Will Change Their Lives Forever.  New York: Harcourt, 2001.

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