I was finishing up a preschool/kindergarten tour with about 25 kids and we’d reached the really fun part where I ask “Does anyone have any questions?” and everyone’s hand goes up and when I call on a kid they put their hand down and pause….pause….pause….”I HAVE A DOG AT HOME!”
I know I’m not actually going to be asked any questions with this age group but I always ask anyway because I kind of love the answers. After a few rounds of pause…..pause….pause….”I LIKE LEGOS!” and pause….pause….pause….”CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM IS MY FAVORITE!” I decided to ask a different question: “Does anyone want to tell me their favorite book?”
All hands up.
Over 75% of the kids said “Moo!” by David LaRochelle most likely because I’d just read “Moo!” by David LaRochelle to them before we started the tour but also because that book rules. I turned to the teacher and asked if we had time for me to read it again and she said that would be fine.
And then one girl asked “Can we read it with you?” and I don’t know what came over me but I asked “Can you read it TO me?” which was greeted with a chorus of “YES!”
And they did.
I pointed. I reacted non-verbally as if I was reading it. And they read it to me. With expression.
I witnessed 25 kids on the verge of learning to read get so excited about reading a book together.
On the days when you feel like you’re going to lose your mind trying to juggle the programs and the collection and the outreach and the tours and staff cuts and budget cuts, remember moments like this. We, as youth services professionals, have an enormous positive impact on the kids in our communities. We are growing readers.
High five, tribe.