Saturday, March 14, 2009

Encouraging Literacy in the Very Young, Part 4

Tip #4 - Allow children to share books with special people in their lives. One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting with my grandfather reading The Poky Little Puppy in his house in Boulder, Colo. We sat together in my grandfather's big chair, and read about all of the antics of the poky puppy who dug a hole with his brothers and sisters under a fence to explore the "wide, wide world." The poky little puppy, always the observant one (and the one with the worst sweet tooth), gets his fill of adventures and of desserts.

But it's hardly the story I recall. What I remember is feeling the utter and complete joy that a child can feel when sharing a good story with someone they treasure.

My grandfather died not too long after that, when I was only nine, so my memories of him are very few. But this is one I hold onto. My grandfather was not a well-read man. He was a carpenter. He worked for most of his life making cabinets and tables and chairs. His garage smelled of sawdust. The tools were lined up on the walls, just so. What I remember, though, and what I treasure most is that he read with me.

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