Washington november 2016.
På skolgården satt de överallt. Högläsarna! Den vuxne och barnet absorberade i något som boken berättade. Högläsarna kom från närliggande arbetsplatser och läste en timme i veckan för några elever, samma varje gång. En timmes lunch med högläsning. Jag ville lyssna till varför och hur och bad några av dessa högläsare berätta om varför de frivilligt kom till skolan och vad det har betytt för dem personligen. Häromdagen kom detta mail:
Good Afternoon, Ms. Körling:
My name is … and you initiated a conversation with me as I was departing Ross Elementary School where I was doing a Reading Mentor session. You asked me and a fellow mentor “Why do we do this?” Here is my response:
Reading is knowledge and knowledge is power. To ignite the love of reading in a child is one of the greatest gifts you can give. Some of the mentees we are paired with through the Everybody Wins DC Program are already good readers. Therefore, our job is not to teach students how to read but to inspire them to do so. To help them realize that reading is a window into other worlds and places that they would never have the opportunity to visit. As you may notice, the Everybody Wins program is called Reading Mentor Program. So it is just not reading but establishing relationships and friendships with these young people. So it is rewarding on both sides of the spectrum.
The previous paragraph is an elaboration of my short answer I gave you when I was departing the school. But then you said “why do you do this?” You seem to be asking what is my motivation, my reason for getting involved in this program. Love. You love to see a child’s eyes light up when they properly sound out a word correctly. You love to watch the expression on their faces when you dramatically read a story to them in way that they are totally caught up in the story. This is my first year serving in this capacity and I am so glad I decided to do so.