Today is the last day of school for Declan. It’s kind of bittersweet because the teacher that has been with him and his classmates for two years won’t be moving up to 4th grade. She really thought about it, she loves these kids, but she also knows she will love her new kids now entering 3rd grade, and decided to stay where her strengths are.
And her strengths are definitely 2nd and 3rd grade – and definitely getting these kids engaged.
Sure, in a lot of ways my kid is still lazy, and in a lot of ways, that is 100% my fault – but over the last two years, we have watched his interests bloom.
Because he loves reading.
Because she has encouraged their reading.
She read them an abridged version of Dracula, and they were all talking about it for months.
She got them interested in Shakespeare. And I am not talking the 10 Things I Hate About You version of Shakespeare. I mean real language, real themes, real interest. One of her 3rd graders had a lead role in Julius Caesar this year, and didn’t flub one line.
Sure, Declan still reads Calvin & Hobbes (OK, mostly in the potty). But he also reads Little House on the Prairie and Ron Dahl and yes, he asked to buy the full version of Dracula with his own money.
He. loves. reading.
We know he will continue reading over the summer, and wanted ways to overcome *our* laziness about it. Luckily PBS Kids and iVillage have a free online program to help us stay on track.
I also feel lucky that I first met Angela Santomero through social media, then in person at the Mom 2.0 conference, and I now consider her a friend. She is the online coach to the program, which makes me feel like there will be an extension of Declan’s amazing experiences at school coming to him through his computer.
PBS Kids and iVillage sent me some literacy kits for Declan’s friends and we hosted a summer reading kick-off party last weekend. You could tell the kids were antsy to play outside, partly because the weather here in Denver has been like living in a monsoon for over a month, but again – partly – it *IS* the end of the school year right?
But when we brought out the books that Scholastic had sent as part of the program? They were *just* as excited.
Which tells me we’re on to something.
Blogger disclosure: PBS Kids, iVillage and Scholastic sent books, literacy kits and party supplies for this event. All other expenses were assumed by me because READING ROCKS!