I’ve been thinking a lot about my chosen profession these days. I spent the beginning of last year dreaming big. I sat down and imagined my ideal job. I focused on my passion for bringing good books to children and thought about how I could spend my day devoted to this mission. I put together this website and blog. I began to develop parent presentations and children’s classes. I was energized by the work.
Just this morning I was talking to the owner of my favorite children’s book store, Books, Bytes and Beyond. We were discussing the challenge of convincing parents that reading to their young child now will not only grow a happy and successful reader but also potentially prevent any reading difficulties later in life. We talked about how people often appear so willing to pay for tutors and remedial interventions but may be more hesitant to buy new books or to attend lectures about literacy.
I drew the analogy of prevention and remediation in healthcare. It has certainly become the case in our country that we are willing to spend money on curing diseases that could be prevented. If only we put this same money in to prevention. In a similar way, parents would be wise to spend money on books and spend time on reading. These simple and relatively inexpensive, preventive acts could save parents thousands of dollars on tutors as their children grow.
The other day, I caught my daughters in a reading moment that goes to prove that an ounce of prevention is time and money well spent. The girls had pulled the curtains, built a fort and turned on flashlights. My older daughter then spent the next half hour reading to her younger sister by flashlight. These are two girls that love to read and to listen to stories. These are girls that love school and love to learn.
Would they be this way if I had not read to them constantly from the time they were born until today? Maybe. But I’m glad I didn’t take the chance.