Children Who Read...
...often do much better in school overall. And we're talking about children who read outside of the school curriculum. You know - the kids that you take to the library and who enjoy picking out books to read.
A is such a child. And so is B, but this one is about A.
She used to resist reading when she was in first and second grade. She learned, and learned quickly, but she didn't really read very much for fun. She read what she needed to and that was about it. Now you have a hard time prying the book out of her hands. She's always got something with her to read.
In fact, books have become more omnipresent than the GameBoy and this pleases me to no end. But what really gets me is the fact that her 5th grade teacher has all the kids submit a reading log. They track the number of pages that they read in class and at home, and over the weekend, and it counts towards your score.
Even better, if she's reading books that are on the Advanced Reader (AR) list she can take a quiz on them. A was getting perfect scores on the quizzes. And then came the real surprise.
Apparently after you read a certain number of pages, you get an award. The first level (Bronze) is 2 passes for the school snack shack. The second level (Silver) is a $5 gift card to either McDonald's, Jamba Juice or Barnes and Noble. The third level (Gold) is a $10 gift card to either of those 3 establishments. And A came home one day with...
Two passes to the snack shack, a $5 Jamba Juice card, and a $10 B&N card. Yes, all 3. She earned all the awards that she could, and she was the first one across 4 5th grade classrooms to do it. They estimate the number of words per novel (or they have that information from somewhere) and log them against each 5th grader. The Gold award is 1 million words. The real kicker? She did it while reading books that were mostly above her 5th grade reading level. She's firmly reading 7th grade level books and above. 1 million words, and about 80% of them are 7th grade reading level (and she can read *way* past that and comprehend it...)
Her teacher, at the recent Parent-Teacher Conferences, complimented her reading abilities and that her ability and comprehension shows in her writing for all of her classes. She's a smart kid, they're telling me. I think that's a good problem to have.
So, if you can, encourage the children in your life to read. And to enjoy reading. It's like television except you have control over the character's voice, and the setting that they're in. It can take you to places you've never been, or places that simply don't exist except in the author's imagination. You will learn things you never knew you never knew...
...and who could be displeased with that?