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w October 01, 2004

Bookz Bookz Bookz

I was recently enjoined to join in with an exemplary organization by a lawyer-type friend of ours (yeah, I know, a GOOD lawyer...amazing): In2Books. This is a Washington, DC based non-profit that aims to ramp up not just literacy, but a love for and of books in elementary school kids in the DC area. Basically, schoolkids are matched up with adult "penpals" and read the same pre-chosen books throughout the year. Not only do we read the books together, as it were, but we also write letters back and forth talking about the books, our reactions to them, etc. What is so brilliant about this is the multitude of benefits for BOTH parties. The kids realize that reading is fun, informative, engaging, whatever. They also learn how to write effective letters, use both their imagination and their analytic skills; most importantly, I think, they find out that there are even more adults out there that actually care about them and their ideas.

I had to create a "visual profile" and an introductory letter to a generalized student population, which was actually a lot of fun, but the biggest thrill came just a few minutes ago when I found out the names of my penpals and what books we might be reading together. I was pleased to see that fifth graders, at least in DC, appear to be learning about colonial America and early government. THIS I can talk about ad nauseum. Those poor girls, sigh.

Gene can attest to my glee, though...and my realization that I miss teaching in a way that is truly visceral, and really, almost painful. I know that I'm doing the right thing by staying at home with Bean for now, but I do hope that one day I can get back in the classroom, wherever and however that may be. For now, though, getting to talk about fun books with ten year olds is a pretty damn good substitute.

by at October 01, 2004 8:30 PM | TrackBack Comments
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