Saturday, April 12, 2014

Turning Anger into Action

What's made you flaming angry lately?
Did you slam the steering wheel?
Write a passionate letter?
Vent to your Mama?
Whatever it was, follow the path of that anger until you find out what is at the core. And guess what?
There's your passion, sister. 
Here's what really burned my cheese recently: some statistics I found on the Literacy Project Foundation website:
70% of U.S. adults have not been in a bookstore in the last year.
(Please go support Barnes & Noble if you've ever loved me at all.)
6/10 households do not buy a book in a single year
44% of American adults do not read a book a year
(I blame Netflix.)
42% of American college graduates never read another book (for pleasure) after college.
(Now I'm weeping...)
These are the facts and they make me sad. This is why I do what I do. Parents who don't read have children who don't read. The cycle continues until a reader is built. My classroom must be a place where students can develop into the readers I know they can become.
Kids begin loving books and stories, but by the time they come into my classroom, most of them have lost that love. They haven't been surrounded by great books.
They haven't had anyone who cared enough to find the books that would light them up inside.
Disclaimer: I know that in the grand scheme of love and life, finding books for your kids seems like another task on your never-ending To Do List To Be An Awesome Parent. (Can we just agree to throw these away, please?) The pressure to do this job well is overwhelming and I am not on a mission to pile on another bag o' guilt.
The thing is: it's easier than you think. Go to the library. Read books in front of your kids. Buy books. Go to Goodwill and buy a bunch. Talk to the teachers and librarian.
If you put a lot of good books around kids, they WILL read. Maybe not at first, maybe not with joy, but they will read. I've seen it happen over and over again.
Those statistics shocked and angered me into a greater passion for what I do as a teacher. If something is making you angry, perhaps it is the fire you need for action.
We need your fire - light up the world with the passion that makes you come alive.
Your turn: What's made you angry or passionate this past week?


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