I was working as a Nanny when I first moved to this area. My ward’s name is Adelle. She is creative, intelligent, curious and has a great sense of humor. As she went through the first grade, she struggled with learning how to read, something of which I’m sure many can relate to. We go through learning curves as we develop new skills, so it wasn’t unusual that Adelle had some difficulties. Looking back, I was no exception to this and I could certainly empathize with her frustration. She eventually did learn how to read. Although the routine of school and practice helped, she improved quicker as those supporting her did their best to make it fun and rewarding.
It is a beautiful thing to witness the gears click into place in a child’s mind as they learn something new. When a child learns how to read, the door to a new world has opened and they are free to explore all the wonderful places awaiting them. They meet new people and are captivated by their stories, each one making a new mark on their developing mind.
Stories mold us. Within the pages of a book, we can find the inspiration to become the sort of person we would have admired as a child. Youths are like sponges, soaking up the world around them. On the shelves of a library, they can find countless worlds and characters to draw lessons from, whether heroic or cautionary. The adventures they go on can broaden their minds and have a lasting effect on them.
Watching Adelle’s mind grow and her imagination blossom has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Every time I bring her to the library, she immediately runs to the Junior Graphic Novel section and recently she checked out a book on how to draw Manga. I can get an idea of the sort of person she will become as she tells me that someday she wants to create her own graphic novels and video games.
I asked her why she likes to read and her reply was simple:
“I don’t know. I just like reading. It’s interesting.”
Isn’t it, though? As we end of our summer reading program, I am grateful to have had the privilege to assist our youths find the stories they are searching for. To see the excitement in their eyes as they check out their materials makes every day I come in worthwhile. Many of us have a Top Ten list of our favorite books. Children are not so concerned with such things. You may ask them what their favorite book is and the title may change from one moment to the next. When a bookworm first learns how to read, they are hungry. There have been a number of times when a kid has come up to counter with a pile of books, eager to devour each one. Every time it happens I cannot help but smile. As we get older we develop our tastes and tend to be drawn to certain genres and authors over others, but these kids are exploring and we are more than happy to provide the maps.
Whitney Taitano, Circulation Desk Attendant