I have a bad day. I read. I have a great day. I read. And everywhere in between… I read. If I can have a opportunity to encourage reading I will take it! Stories have been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I loved how stories could take me to a different reality, to another time, make me understand my own life in a deeper way. This is something I wish I could teach. But I’ve quickly understood that this is something that someone learns through experience. I can’t force it. So what can I do? Tell as many stories as possible and hopefully give that experience to people who hear/read them.
As well as being a children’s book author, I am also an after school teacher at Madison Elementary with the “Learns” program, a job I adore. “Learns” is a wonderful program. We do homework, fitness and have amazing enrichment opportunities.
How am I celebrating Read Across California ?
I read a book to the kids I teach every day. It’s not part of the normal lesson plans, but something I think is important to be made time for. I also plan on continuing past this month. My goal is for them all to read because they love it not because they have to. Dr. Suess wrote so many wonderfully imaginative books, a style I admire (but would never attempt). They are filled with such important messages. This is one of my favorite quotes of his:
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
If only we all embraced that…
I also do “crazy story time” with my own kids every night before bed. A tradition I accidentally started when my girls were very much resisting going to bed and I was at my wit’s end. So I blurted out, “But wait! If you get in bed, we will do CRAZY STORY TIME!” Mind you I had no idea what this was at the time. It just popped out of my mouth. But it worked. I’d never seen Frankie get into bed so fast and Zoe scaled her crib like Spiderman. Crazy Story Time was born. I read a book and act it out like a crazy person. And they LOVE IT. I do a killer Five Little Monkey’s Jumping on the Bed. I look like a fool, but anything to get me to my glass of wine and “Walking Dead” quicker. But seriously… I love that they love stories. Frankie asked me the other day when we can start reading Harry Potter. I cried tears of absolute joy.
Dr. Suess wrote: “KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!… Your mountain is waiting… So…get on your way!”
This is what I try to get across when I write and when I teach at school and at home.
Your mountains are waiting kids!! Go find them. Books let you believe in ANYTHING. Books teach you. Book are doorways to worlds waiting to be discovered. They can change everything.
And a special shout out to the kids at Madison Elementary:
You all are amazing. You work (and play) so hard! Keep reading! I’m so proud of you.
Love, Miss Beth
Beth Navarro is author of two picture books available on Be There Bedtime Stories: Kiko the Hawaiian Wave and Grambo. She also writes a mom blog (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mother-naked/111636188964108). You can find out all she is working on at: www.bethnavarro.com