If you asked me to name three of my favorite things, it would be challenging, maybe even impossible. However if you let me cheat a little, I would simply say books. Please just don’t make me say which three. That wouldn’t be fair to the others.
Growing up, my family had a Tuesday routine. Every week, for two hours, I felt like the luckiest girl.
We’d hustle to the public library near my house. While my parents wandered the library to discover new novels, I would move up to the front row of story time, inching towards the feet of my favorite librarian so that I could see the page up close. I would listen to her read the words. Each fell off her tongue, sometimes in a drawl, or in a whisper, or other times in a screech. I felt like I had just fallen into my own fairy tale. I eagerly feared when she’d turn to the page of the Big Bad Wolf. Closing my eyes tight, I believed he would jump off the page and nip my nose.
When the last book was put away, I skipped off to the children’s section and picked out my ten books (my mom’s limit). I moved to each shelf, searching for my favorites and discovering new ones. The struggle and pain of which book to choose: the entire Bernstein Bears’ series or a book full with popouts, who could make that decision? There was bargaining each night with mom, “Maybe one more?”
The library still holds a special place for me. When I walk in the doors, I lose myself a little. I feel calmer surrounded by books, the smell of their pages, and the freedom to learn something new. I am drawn to the library because I like the way you can find a new favorite or rediscover an old one.
Every day at Rocketship, we spend time reading with our Rocketeers. We know this is a great way for students to learn reading skills, but to develop a deep love for reading, we must explore the pages of books outside of school. When we unearth our love of literature, we become inspired by a larger world and earn the freedom and liberty to chase our passions.
Throughout the month of December, we will have a special month to focus on building the love of reading with our Rocketeers so that they can become not only excellent in their academic work but truly lifelong learners and readers. Some of you may have already seen this action on your campuses – whether it is through community meetings on how to read with your child, going on library visits with your teachers for a field trip, encouraging Rocketeers to write book reports on the books that they are reading, celebrating Rocketers who are reading voraciously outside of the classroom, etc.
We hope that you take any of these simple actions above to spark a deep thirst for books and reading. Our Rocketeers are amazing, with the potential to do incredible things. If we provide support as they discover the wonder and joy of reading, there is no telling what the world has to offer them!
Brooke works on Rocketship’s Achievement Team as the Associate Director of Humanities. Prior to joining the Achievement Team, she was one of the founding school leaders of Brilliant Minds and a founding first grade humanities teacher at Mosaic Elementary. When Brooke isn’t working, you’ll find her nose in a book.