Today, at the Illinois Reading Conference, I was able to meet Aaron Reynolds. He is an author we have wanted to bring to our school for our One Author-One School program. (A yearlong author study with a culminating activity where the author comes to our school. Each student receives an autographed book at the end of the author study.)
Anyway, Aaron Reynolds talks about how he was not reader until 5th grade. He never went to a library or a bookstore before 5th grade. His teacher that year changed everything for him. Aaron’s teacher inspired him (in his head and his heart) to become a reader. He changed everything for Aaron. He is the reason why Aaron Reynolds is an author with over 30 published books (and more being released soon!).
I thought about that. If his 5th Grade teacher hadn’t inspired him, would we have Creepy Carrots or Carnivores?
It got me thinking about how we inspire our students to read specifically. Not just read in our classroom, but to become readers who read for enjoyment for their whole lives. We want our students to become educated adults who contribute to society–like Aaron Reynolds and educators have.
How do you inspire students in your classroom, in your grade level, and in your school to become lifelong readers?