Happy New Year and Sweet Sixteen! (2016, that is)
I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, after deciding what to change (exercise more/ eat less desserts), I try to accomplish those goals. Sometimes I’m successful. Oftentimes I’m not. But, I’ve been itching to make a Story Time Resolution this year. Hopefully, saying my goal “out loud” isn’t like blowing out birthday candles and then revealing a wish. Stories, characters, voice and plot fill my head. Can I put on paper what I see in my head? Most importantly, how will I get my stories in the hands of children?
Two recent articles in The New York Times were gifts to my goal. The quotes below are from The Gift of Reading by Frank Bruni and Long Line at the Library? It’s Story Time Again by Winnie Hu.
Winnie Hu quotes,
“It is clear that reading and being exposed to books early in life are critical factors in student success,” Anthony W. Marx, president of the New York Public Library, said.
Frank Bruni writes,
The list of what a child needs in order to flourish is short but nonnegotiable.
Food. Shelter. Play. Love.
Something else, too, and it’s meted out in even less equal measure.
Words. A child needs a forest of words to wander through, a sea of words to splash in. A child needs to be read to, and a child needs to read.
Reading fuels the fires of intelligence and imagination.
“Reading follows an upward spiral,” said Daniel Willingham, a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of “Raising Kids Who Read,” which was published earlier this year. “Kids who read more get better at reading, and because they are better at reading, it’s easier and more pleasurable so they read still more,” he said. “And kids who read well don’t just do better in English class — it helps them in math, science and every other class, too.”
I’d go even further. Reading tugs them outside of themselves, connecting them to a wider world and filling it with wonder. It’s more than fundamental. It’s transformative.
Amen, Mr. Bruni. Amen.
Hon, if you are a “New-Year’s-Resolution-Person,” what are your goals this year?