I heard the saddest news yesterday when I was talking with a local third grade school teacher. She said that out of the 21 kids that she had in her class- 10 of them read at a first grade level. I really had to pity her. She is required to teach these children third grade material when over half of her class is not able to functionally read. This is not good. The area that she teaches is a lower income area. There are many children who are in and out of foster care in the town. Even with all of those reasons, my heart was still affected. These kids deserve better. That is where the foster families that are dedicated come in. There are many of you who have these children in your homes and are making the investment into making their lives better. One of the key things educationally for success is the ability to read and read well. I know that I strive for it with every kid in my home- I am sure that you do as well.
I find it hard to imagine that there are adults out there who do not read to their children/foster children. It is such a vital activity. I suppose that I am biased because I love to read. It is something that I continually do and encourage my kids to engage in daily. I love that they are avid readers. I will admit it was more difficult for me to develop the love for reading in my foster/adopted son. Reading itself came harder. He struggled with dyslexia. He had some shots against him. Yet, as I blog, he is sitting behind me totally engrossed in a book of his choosing. He walks out of the library with a bag of books. He got it but not without a fight on my part. I deemed it necessary and did everything in my power to make it so. Trust me, there were many tears involved on my part. Then one day, he just got it. He then moved through all of the reading levels very quickly and was able to read at a high level by the end of the school year.
Does this mean that I am better? No, it just means that I chose to read and read and read to that kid until he found a desire and ability to do it himself. Make reading enjoyable for any child and they will receive the best gift ever- the ability to succeed in school.