To Inspire Learning

To Inspire Learning

Hello, and welcome!

Thank you for finding your way to the Reading Mentors Blog.

The following is a letter I sent

to our dedicated volunteers.

I hope there is something here

that inspires you to read with a child today.

 

Hello Mentors!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying your time with the kids!

The last 3 months have been so inspiring. Because of you and your efforts, kids who previously might have considered reading to be a chore, now brighten up when they see you at their classroom door. They eagerly select books, express their opinions, ask questions…
and talk, talk, talk about what they see on the pages.

It is your genuine interactions with the students which positively impact their attitudes and therefore their openness to exploring books.

I’d like to take a moment to share some of my thoughts
about how you positively impact these young readers.

Gift of Time

Not a Time to Perform

Reading Mentors is a program to inspire learning.

It is such a gift to be able to meet with a child for 30 minutes during the school day to simply enjoy the world of books.
As you meet with a child and consciously set aside expectations of reading performance, you create a safe place for learning.

How cool is it that when the time we spend simply enjoying reading with a child, it can contribute to positive academic outcomes?

Students Read Us

When you encourage a child to choose any book, your actions say,

Books are for everyone.

When the student has that permission to select any book
(even if he/she can only read the pictures, or ask questions)
your support says,

What do you want to learn about today?

Isn’t learning fun?

and

Your interests matter.

For the child who chooses a book he/she needs help with,
how can you bridge understanding?

You might ask questions like:

“Would you like me to read it to you?”

or

“What do you notice about that picture?”

 

You can also:

Express enthusiasm for the book.

Use words that identify them as a reader, such as:

“I like how you read the expression on her face!”

“Can you read after me?”

Eliminate phrases that might exclude a child from the process, like “reading level”

After all,

does a child understand

that if he is measured at level X, 

he won’t always be level X?

or

Does she understand

that her current reading level

does not measure who she is?

I hope that you all know what an impact you have on the lives of young readers.
Thank you so much for caring for these children!

Please keep doing what you’re doing . . . I hope you continue enjoying your time with your reading buddies!

Sincerely,
Kathleen

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