You know what I like about reading? You don’t have to be good at it. You don’t have to read what your friends are reading. You can read where you choose too. You can get lost in the adventure, romance, history and suspense of a book, all without leaving the comforts of your home. As adults, we love the way a good book makes us feel after we’ve finished it. We laugh, we cry, we empathize with the characters. It invigorates our imaginations. And lets be honest, as we get older we can all use a little spark to our imagination.
It is hard to explain to young children how a book can make you feel. We can tell them that reading is good for them, but until they feel the effects of it they really won’t “get it”. And how do kids learn? They learn by doing. Anything worth doing, is worth over doing. Children will eventually come to realize it’s more about that funny looking monster in the book, or that relatable boy. It’s about how the story makes you feel. What you take away from the book. But as parents, we need to keep the flame burning until that realization happens on it’s own. For some, it happens sooner than later.
On October 18th, I was given the opportunity to attend the Lincoln School Book Festival 2014. The Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books & Authors was held at the Lincoln School here in Providence, RI. From the moment I walked up the sidewalk, I knew the Lincoln School promotes early childhood literacy with a passion. Signs were everywhere with sayings about reading. Teachers were dressed as lovable children’s book characters. There was a storytelling tent set up outside. The crafts were even dedicated to books. All this being said, it wasn’t overdone. It was just matter of fact. They love to read and they are here to share it with you.
My son & I had a blast looking at the pop-up bookstore they had. We purchased two books for him to have autographed. We made an amazing craft (which I will be copying again). Listened to amazing stories & songs. Had a delicious pizza followed by a vegan dessert! It was such a blast. It was amazing to see how many children in my community actually value books. Kindles, tablets and Ipads are all the rage. And I get that you can store more books than you could possibly need, but there is something about the feeling of a book’s cover. The sound it makes when you turn the page. The suspense you feel when you wonder what illustration is next.
While the event is over, I urge you to attend next year. It is an annual event and the Lincoln School is already taking applications for authors, volunteers and sponsors for 2015. Follow the Lincoln School on Facebook to keep up with all their events. Now, pick up that book that is collecting dust on your shelf and read. Get lost in it, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. And NO, I won’t hold it against you if you use your Kindle, this time.