When I was a little girl I spent a great deal of time watching television. My mother worked the dreaded, by me anyway, 3-11 shift at a local nursing home. I spent those hours with my Nana. Nana was a strong, loving woman with skin the color of a Hershey's kiss and big toothless smile that was just as sweet. Nana loved me. I knew this. But her first and truest love was gardening. And it was very evident that every growing thing felt the same about her. She could make anything grow. Her garden was a miraculous thing to see. She could take the most barren, nutrient poor soil and bring forth a southerner's rainforest. Every year her vegetable garden overflowed with collared greens, corn, tomatoes, and of course, being in the South, watermelons. She grew watermelons so large that they surely outweighed my tiny five year old body. I was always happy to spend time with Nana in the sun and soil.
When we weren't spending time in the garden we pursued Nana's second love, daytime dramas. She, and perhaps every elderly southern woman, referred to these as "her stories". She would spend hours deeply engrossed in the lives of Luke and Laura. Some days she would have heated debates, all one-sided of course with the queen of daytime TV, Erica Kane. Sometimes, I would join her in these watch-fests, but more often than not I would retreat to her bedroom to watch the secondary television. It wasn't as big as the one in the living room, but certainly adequate for the viewing needs of a youngster. It was there in that room that I discovered that I could "fly twice as high" as a butterfly. I just needed to open a book. Or so said the opening song of Reading Rainbow.
Reading Rainbow was a show that started airing in 1983. It was hosted by the multi-talented Levar Burton. The show ran until about 2006 and was later relaunched in 2012. It was a show that fostered a love of reading in millions of children. I was one of those children. Reading Rainbow showed me that there was a whole world waiting for me to discover and that I could gain access to that world by reading. It ignited a passion for words, learning and teaching. When you are with me in class and I define a word in a certain way that you can't quite find in the dictionary you can thank two people, my Nana and Levar Burton.
Be sure to make daily reading a part of your English language study. It will expose you to new words and phrases and also build your confidence with the language. "But don't take my word for it!" Thanks Levar. And Thanks Nana.
Our first book club meeting is scheduled for February 1, 2018 . Get your copy of The Round House today. And be sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel. We'll post readings from each book of the month and readings for children from the host of the Lion English Kids book club. So, if you have young English learners make sure to visit often.
See you soon