Monday, March 3, 2014

Community Read Aloud



Day 3/31 in the March Slice of Life Challenge!  I am late posting, as I had to see if there would be anything remarkable about today.
And there was.
Today I was a reader for the Community Readaloud in our local schools.
As a teacher, I had always had a reader from the community come into my classroom on March 2 or 3 and read to my class. I'd been receiving the benefit of readers for years.  We listened to real estate brokers, bankers, secretaries, local government officials, store owners, etc. as they read to my class - a classroom of students they had never met.  And for some it was the first time they ever read to a group of kids.  But they were willing to put themselves out there to help kids not only enjoy a good book, but to hear why reading is important in that person's life. 

When I was presented with the opportunity to read to a group then, I thought, why not?  I know can read to a group.  I like books.  I know reading is important in all walks of life. I have the time.  So why not me?

I first went to the school at which I used to teach, so I could get a few books that would be good for the huge age span I was about to confront - a group of 16 kindergarten to fifth grade students in an afterschool group.  After chatting and catching up with a few friends who were still there, I selected three books for the readaloud.
 
The first one was "Epossumondas" by Coleen Salley. The kids loved it.  Epossumondas is a bit Amelia Bedelia-ish; a good predictable story for the 5 -10 year old range.  The olders might at first think that it is too young for them until they hear you read it.
The second was Margaret Read MacDonald's book, "Mabela, the Clever", about a mouse and her friends on their way to being initiated into the secret Cat Society, when just in the nick of time she remembers what her father taught her about being clever! 
And the last was Gerald McDermott's "Monkey: A Trickster Tale from India".  In it a monkey ends up outsmarting a crocodile by tossing a mango.

With those books safely stashed in the car, I then headed to the grocery store to pick up some mangoes and fresh haddock.

At the end of the school day, I headed to the afterschool group to read.  This school was one I (very formerly) attended in grades 1 to 8.  My childhood school was not the old building any more.   Last year they finished building the new school and so, well, there was nothing recognizable...  my old teachers were not there any longer.  Of course, I'm no longer teaching, so that could be a factor.

I was escorted down the hall and up the stairs (a far cry from the one room per grade-all on one floor-just one hallway school I'd attended) to the afterschool area.  I had a wonderful time getting to know the kids and reading the three books to them.  And after the story I brought out the mangoes which I sliced up to for a yummy treat (If you are wondering about the haddock and how it fits in here, it doesn't.  My husband and I had it for lunch.  I did not serve it to the kids.  It was just miscellaneous information meant to confuse and take your attention off the mangoes).

I enjoyed reading aloud today.  I liked being able to visit with both of my old schools.
Things had changed.  Things were different.
But the stream of students headed out the front door was the same.  The smells were the same.  The after school chatter was the same.
...all the same - yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I was brought back to two former worlds today.
I was a teacher and a student.
But then, I think I will always be both.
...all the same - yesterday, today and tomorrow.


10 comments:

  1. Ha! I was worried about the haddock! Tricked me!

    Had many students eaten mangoes before? Was that a new treat for them? (My sister has a mango tree at her house!)

    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Most of them had tried mango before. Some of the adults had not. But almost all loved it.

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  2. I read aloud twice a week at my kids' school.

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    1. Awesome! I really should do that. I have time.

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  3. You brought reading joy to these kids today - bravo!

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    1. We had a great time. And one asked if I would come back next year. Pretty neat.

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  4. Donna, I was wondering about the haddock too-ha! What fun that you returned to both memories. I like that! You also made me remember that when I returned to teaching a long time ago, the first thing I noticed was the smell. It isn't unpleasant, just is that 'school' smell. And now you said it too. Glad you had a nice day!

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    1. I think they could blindfold me and plug my ears and I'd still know I was in a school from the delicious paper, graphite, Crayola and cleaners smells!

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  5. There is so, so, SO much good stuff in this post. The ease of the telling, the book suggestions, the aside about the haddock, the general purpose of the visit to read at a school.
    I was struck by these phrases as well:
    "I had to see if there would be anything remarkable about today. And there was."
    "Things had changed. Things were different. But the stream of students headed out the front door was the same. The smells were the same. The after school chatter was the same."
    "I was a teacher and a student. But then, I think I will always be both."
    A great GREAT post!

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  6. Love this blog! Thanks for sharing. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the books. Stop by for some others anytime. The Chickadee Award site is a good source for recently published picture books. I purchase them every year for our library. http://www.chickadeeaward.org/

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