Reading…not one of my favorite pastimes. A difficult confession and one I am embarrassed to admit. It is something I have struggled with all through school and beyond. Call it a lack of interest, being uncomfortably forced to read out loud, a missed diagnosis, etc. I don’t know for sure. Don’t get me wrong I can read, but more out of necessity than pleasure.
I know the importance of reading for a variety of reasons and in my current role it is even more imperative that gaining access to materials in a variety of formats is important. With all of its importance that’s what led me to do this blog about Mimi. Mimi is the name my grandchildren call my wife. I know her as Rita, but not when the grandkids are around. Being a teacher for more than 30+ years (sorry Mimi) she has always taken great pleasure each semester to take the time to read a story out loud to her class. Sometime funny and sometime serious topics, but stories that held the class riveted to her every word. It’s one of the things that alumni students remember vividly about her class. I can’t say that happened when I was in school, besides that was too long age. Which brings me to Mimi and my grandkids. We have 5 ranging from 6 years of age down to 6 months. From a very early age, Mimi would “read” picture books to each one. It only has a picture and is wordless, but she would describe the picture in a way that would tell a very short story. As each one has grown older, she would ask if they would like for her to read to them. “Bring me a book”, she will say if they don’t already have one in hand. She has never been turned down. More often than not I hear “Mimi, would you read me this book?” You should know by now that the answer is an overwhelming “YES”. It is a blessing to watch how she draws our grandchildren into her world, no their world. So as I watch this miracle happen, I take pleasure in fact that undoubtedly my grandchildren have found the importance of reading and I have as well. What a precious gift to pass on.
In the big picture, the interest and encouragement we offer to students can go a long way. It may be a hardback book, digital file, braille, audio format, or just plain reading to them and conveying enthusiasm is key to inspiration. Just like Mimi.