Kids and Books


Outtakes 223

Kids and Books

By Cait Collins

I’ve really tried to keep causes out of my blogs, but I hope you will indulge me this week. I realize times have changed, but as we see academic scores dropping and kids having trouble excelling in school, I have come to believe we have an issue with reading. I see kids being held back in school because their reading skills are not where they should be. They are not dumb children; they simply can’t read well.

I grew up in an environment where reading was encouraged. My folks bought the Grolier Encyclopedia, Book of Knowledge, and ChildCraft for us. They bought the books on a payment plan because they wanted us to have easy access to information. I remember Mom or Dad gathering us in the big chair and reading to us. As I got older and could read on my own, I would spend hours reading and studying these volumes.

These days books are not always present in the home. Often the family budget does not stretch to purchasing books. And if parents are not readers, it could be difficult for a child to see the need to read. Unfortunately, the child suffers because the inability to read well slows the learning process. For this reason, I support efforts to get books into a child’s hands.

One of my favorite programs is Toys for Tots. Every Christmas, the Barnes and Noble Store in Amarillo selects books for kids of all ages. The titles are suggestions for customers who wish to purchase books for the toy drive. Or the patrons may prefer to browse the shelves for some of their childhood favorites. Book donations are also accepted by the Evelyn Richards Foundation, a local charitable group that works to provide coats and Christmas for children in our area. It may not seem like a big deal to those of us who grew up reading, but giving a child a book of his own may be the beginning of new adventures and better learning opportunities.

Why not volunteer for Story Hour at your local library or bookstore? Maybe we could mentor in the local schools. As writers, we should be at the forefront of supporting efforts to put books in the home and in schools. Maybe we can’t change the whole world, but at least we can make an inroad in our corner of it.

 

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Kids and Books


Outtakes 223

Kids and Books

By Cait Collins

I’ve really tried to keep causes out of my blogs, but I hope you will indulge me this week. I realize times have changed, but as we see academic scores dropping and kids having trouble excelling in school, I have come to believe we have an issue with reading. I see kids being held back in school because their reading skills are not where they should be. They are not dumb children; they simply can’t read well.

I grew up in an environment where reading was encouraged. My folks bought the Grolier Encyclopedia, Book of Knowledge, and ChildCraft for us. They bought the books on a payment plan because they wanted us to have easy access to information. I remember Mom or Dad gathering us in the big chair and reading to us. As I got older and could read on my own, I would spend hours reading and studying these volumes.

These days books are not always present in the home. Often the family budget does not stretch to purchasing books. And if parents are not readers, it could be difficult for a child to see the need to read. Unfortunately, the child suffers because the inability to read well slows the learning process. For this reason, I support efforts to get books into a child’s hands.

One of my favorite programs is Toys for Tots. Every Christmas, the Barnes and Noble Store in Amarillo selects books for kids of all ages. The titles are suggestions for customers who wish to purchase books for the toy drive. Or the patrons may prefer to browse the shelves for some of their childhood favorites. Book donations are also accepted by the Evelyn Richards Foundation, a local charitable group that works to provide coats and Christmas for children in our area. It may not seem like a big deal to those of us who grew up reading, but giving a child a book of his own may be the beginning of new adventures and better learning opportunities.

Why not volunteer for Story Hour at your local library or bookstore? Maybe we could mentor in the local schools. As writers, we should be at the forefront of supporting efforts to put books in the home and in schools. Maybe we can’t change the whole world, but at least we can make an inroad in our corner of it.

 

Kids and Books


Outtakes 223

Kids and Books

By Cait Collins

I’ve really tried to keep causes out of my blogs, but I hope you will indulge me this week. I realize times have changed, but as we see academic scores dropping and kids having trouble excelling in school, I have come to believe we have an issue with reading. I see kids being held back in school because their reading skills are not where they should be. They are not dumb children; they simply can’t read well.

I grew up in an environment where reading was encouraged. My folks bought the Grolier Encyclopedia, Book of Knowledge, and ChildCraft for us. They bought the books on a payment plan because they wanted us to have easy access to information. I remember Mom or Dad gathering us in the big chair and reading to us. As I got older and could read on my own, I would spend hours reading and studying these volumes.

These days books are not always present in the home. Often the family budget does not stretch to purchasing books. And if parents are not readers, it could be difficult for a child to see the need to read. Unfortunately, the child suffers because the inability to read well slows the learning process. For this reason, I support efforts to get books into a child’s hands.

One of my favorite programs is Toys for Tots. Every Christmas, the Barnes and Noble Store in Amarillo selects books for kids of all ages. The titles are suggestions for customers who wish to purchase books for the toy drive. Or the patrons may prefer to browse the shelves for some of their childhood favorites. Book donations are also accepted by the Evelyn Richards Foundation, a local charitable group that works to provide coats and Christmas for children in our area. It may not seem like a big deal to those of us who grew up reading, but giving a child a book of his own may be the beginning of new adventures and better learning opportunities.

Why not volunteer for Story Hour at your local library or bookstore? Maybe we could mentor in the local schools. As writers, we should be at the forefront of supporting efforts to put books in the home and in schools. Maybe we can’t change the whole world, but at least we can make an inroad in our corner of it.

 

HAMILTONIAN


HAMILTONIAN

by Sharon Stevens

Author Jennifer Archer encouraged us to celebrate National Book Week by choosing a book close at hand, turning to page 56, reading the fifth sentence, then posting it without listing the title of the book or author.

In an old used paperback I had culled from the shelves, next to my writing space (Natalie Bright, August 8, 2011) I found, “They ain’t nothing but animals, they really ain’t.” (1)

What fun! Intrigued I then took it one step further. My husband and I were stocking college textbooks on the shelves of our Buffalo Bookstore getting ready for the fall semester at WTAMU and I came across the words “In addition, some youngsters got involved painting artistic travel posters to decorate the area.”(2)

In another book I found “As if they were spiritual consumers, young adults are shopping around among a wide range of religious traditions, in the process they are finding new ways to incorporate religion into their daily lives:”(3) Last but not least I read in still another book, “Explain why the tour ABCFECDBA is not a Hamiltonian circuit for the graph below.”(4)

A journalist remarked that of all the generations this was the best time to be a reader, that with libraries, Kindles, Nooks, bookstores as well as Google and Bing you can read any time and any place. Since we own a bookstore filled with used paperbacks, local authors and college textbooks, and with being a living American and breathing free, I wholeheartedly agree! I can go anywhere and pick up whatever suits my fancy at any moment to coincide with my mood at the time. I am then free to put it back down if it doesn’t suit my fancy, (as in studying about the Hamiltonian Circuit) and pursue my passion somewhere else.

Each book to me is a treasure shared from the author directly to my heart. I celebrate each letter, sentence and chapter. Being involved in a writers critique group and a member of Panhandle Professional Writers I know what it takes to put words down on paper and pursue ideas to publication.

I found a chapter on literacy for children, “Many people seem to think that reading is pronouncing the sounds of letters and that writing is about copying print or putting sounds together. These people have forgotten that the purpose of reading is to make meaning.”

And I guess this is what I treasure the most in reading is to “make meaning”. Everything I read connects to some part of my life, my heart, and my soul. I read for pleasure, I read to learn, I read to relish, but I also read to share. What else is a good book for but to pass on to others. On that note, it is amazing how one of my favorite authors always seems to put words together meant just for me, “The silence seemed to stretch miles between them.”(5)

I have a Webster’s Dictionary from 1890, and the fifth sentence down on page 56 is written, “ANTIQUITIES-The remains of ancient times. In this sense it is usually plural.”

The next sentence goes on to relate that “Antiquities comprehend all the remains of ancient times; all the monuments, coins, inscriptions, edifices, history, and fragments of literature, offices, habiliments, weapons, manners, ceremonies; in short whatever respects any of the ancient nations of the earth.”

Thanks Jennifer Archer, as an author, for reminding me to celebrate everything I hold most dear. I couldn’t have written it better myself.

Sharon Stevens

1. Royal Stud, by Stuart Jason

2. Let’s Begin Reading Right,by Marjorie Fields, Lois A. Groth, Katherine L. Spangler

3. Sociology The New Millennium, by Jenifer Kunz & Claudia Stuart professors at WTAMU

4. For All Practical Purposes, Mathematical Literacy in Today’s World by Comap

5. Texas Blue by Jodi Thomas