Maryland Out of School Time



Reading is Fundamental (Fun to Mental)

Many people have written about the importance of literacy and reading. In many cases their words are more eloquent than any I could conjure up. I cannot speak to the truth that when a tyrant wants to subdue a people, s/he burns their books to chain their minds because I have not lived this experience. I cannot put to paper words about the slaves of yesterday risking their very lives for a chance to understand because that is not my truth. Even now I cannot speak to the statistics that show the cause and effect relationship between reading and success because I have yet to achieve success. 

This leaves me only with my limited understanding of the world as the lens through which I can show you, the reader, why reading is crucial if you want to live a good life. It is common knowledge that reading is fundamental. After all, in modern society, reading is the foundation upon which further knowledge rests. In this way reading is crucial because it leads to academic and professional success. This is a crucial aspect of the discussion but it has been written about ad nauseum and I am not wont to add anything to the discussion. 

The key to why reading is fundamental lies in the wordplay inherent in the word ‘fundamental’. Someone much smarter than me broke down the word and rewrote the sentence to read: Reading is Fun to Mental. This change resonated with me because that has been my experience with reading. More than all the academic and professional benefits, the most important aspect I found in literacy was the ability to have fun in an without limitations. With reading, the imagination is stretched and exercised like a muscle and from this growth comes creativity and innovation. Reading is important because it is fun. It engages the mind with flights of fancy or grounded realities while all the while teaching important lessons. As Mary Poppins would say “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.” Reading is the sugar that allows us to learn anything from geography to empathy to zoology to astrology without ever leaving the library. 

That is why what we do is so important. Too often children are only presented with reading as a task or a chore and this cripples their ability to engage with the material in a meaningful way. In Summer Reads we are making reading fun and interactive and helping children create and learn enduring habits that will help them succeed. By engaging their imagination, we are taking sting away from the learning process and making it into a fun filled adventure that will set the tone for how they approach literacy for the rest of their lives.




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