Saturday, May 28, 2016

Reading Communities: Age Doesn't Matter

I am very fortunate.  I am part of a reading community.  People with whom I work, Vox and Tweet help me to grow as a reader.  They validate me, they challenge me, they encourage me.  We share a love for reading and a desire for getting books into the hands of our students.  While we have many things in common, age is not one of them.  In one of my Voxer groups there is a 20 year age difference among the members.  Guess what?  It doesn't matter.  In the Twitter world I'm connected with friends who are a few years older, a few years younger, many years older, many years younger. Guess what?  It doesn't matter.  We are all readers.  We all share.  We all care.

Last week I put this thought into action in my library.  Fourth grade students (the oldest in my building) worked hard to find the "perfect" book to share with our kindergarten students. They searched, reminisced about favorites and made their selections.  They took turns practicing reading aloud to their classmates.  They laughed and smiled as they shared personal memories of and connections to their chosen title.

This week each class of fourth graders joined me in the library during one of my kindergarten periods.  Each older student partnered up with a younger student, found a comfy place to sit and read their story aloud.


 After  quick introductions, the stories started.  But even more so were the conversations.



"I loved this book when I was in kindergarten.";  "What's a book that YOU loved this year?"; "What kinds of books do you like?  Oh really?  Me too!"  "When you get older, make sure you read (book). It is so good, you'll love it!"


As students finished with their partner, they switched with someone and started over again with a new partner...seamless, effortless, easy!


The best part?  I did nothing but sit back and enjoy.  The smiles, the laughter, the conversations filled my heart with joy!


The kindergarteners learned so much from their older friends, but trust me, those fourth graders learned just as much, if not more.  And this old man?  He learned the most of all.

Readers share.  Readers Care.  Age Doesn't matter!