A Mother's Lap and a Picture Book




 "Auntie Gloria's girls wake up to the smell of book pages." This is a comment my younger cousin
Tony made when we were just kids. This statement has stuck with me over the years. I recently attended a Professional Development Training on Explicit Reading Instruction. All participants were asked to share their reading development experience. Prior to this training, I had never really given  this topic a lot of thought. After reflecting I realized that my school teachers were not at all responsible for my development as a reader. My ability to read, and my love for books was established early on in my life. My mother read to me, and instilled a love of learning, and reading in me, way before I entered the public education system. My continued reflection led me to the realization that my  mother 's parents were also avid readers. I loved visiting my grandparents' house. They had all kinds of books, cook books, books on medicine, books on diet and exercise, self help books, spiritual books, and more. In addition, having a grandfather who was a preacher also meant being surrounded with Bibles of several different versions, and commentaries. Speaking of the Bible, my church played a huge role in my development as well. My childhood church was family oriented. All of the adults felt obligated to the success of all of the children. They saw the importance of developing scholars in addition to developing young people with high moral standards.

Baring all of this in mind I realized that my village developed my reading skills. My cousin, Tony's, statement is proof that our family valued reading so much so that others could see it. I think that the majority of today's families have relinquished their power, and handed the responsibility of education over to an educational system that leaves a lot to be desired. The best teachers with the best strategies, dull in comparison to the influential power of a mother/family. Schools are spending millions of dollars on curriculums, textbooks, computer programs, and professional development trainings hoping to find the answer to the educational epidemic that has swept our country. The answer is a mother's lap and a good picture book. Yes it is that simple. Mothers, mama figures, families you have the power to develop readers that have an insatiable desire to learn. Use your power! I am beyond grateful for my mother, she fostered a love for learning and books.  She made sure to surround me with other adults who would aid her in her mission to make me a reader! It worked! Families take time to read books, and make reading a big deal in your home. Buy books to grow your child's personal home library, take frequent visits to the library and to the bookstore. If your child see's that you love reading, they will love it too!

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