In Encouraging strong reading skills part one, a story was told about a scholar in Higher Achievement who wasn’t particularly fond of reading and an attempt to change his point of view on this valuable skill. Part two will finish that story and discuss why reading is important, particularly for generation Y also known as the millenials.
Before giving CJ his copy of Kingdom Come, it was important to tell him why he was receiving such a special gift. Our discussion started off with positive and non-critical words. He was first told, “We all think that you’re a smart kid. You just don’t apply yourself all of the time.” And, “Reading is an important skill and you will need it no matter which field you decided to go into.”
When he pulled the book out of the bag his eyes got big and he was surprised. He seemed to be interested in it immediately, flipping through pages and looking at the pictures. CJ remarked, “My brother collects graphic novels. Thank you.” Taking my advice and not showing the other scholars his new book because it might get damaged, he tucked the bag safely away in his backpack.
It is unclear if he actually read the book all of the way through to the end, or if it just sat in his room. Sometimes young people don't understand the importance of the lessons they've been taught, or the gifts they've been given until much later. What is important is the attempt to plant the seed in his mind that reading can be fun and not necessarily a painful task.
As described in the article The benefits and challenges of using articulate speech, words are like keys that can unlock the many doors and opportunities our world has to offer. No matter what a child sets out to do, the ability to read is a valuable tool on the journey towards his/her career of choice.
Finally, in this age of technology, facebook, tweeting, and texting-messaging, many believe that an over reliance on technology is handicapping the younger generations by not only minimizing the basics of learning (such as reading), but also by digitizing the learning process. Additionally, it under develops their ability to communicate effectively on a personal level.
It is important to encourage and reinforce good reading skills as they will have definite implications later on in life, whether or not a young person decides to go into a STEM field, law, education, or even to start their own business.
A recently retired school teacher, said it best when he told a group kids, “Readers are leaders.” and “Those who read succeed.”
To learn more about Higher Achievement, contact Jacquelyn Hortsmann, Manager of Communications & Development at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 202-375-7709. Or visit the website at www.higherachievement.org.