Monday, March 18, 2013

My Reading Buddy

Last year, I "adopted" a third grade reluctant reader, Jordan; and I told him I was going to change his point-of-view when it came to books.  Jordan hated to read for many reasons:
  • "It's boring!"
  • "I would rather play video games."
  • "It's too hard."
  • "Is it almost time for lunch/recess?"
  • "I don't understand this story."
These are just some of the excuses I would hear on a daily basis.  So, he told me to "Bring it on, Mrs. Allen" when I told him that I could get him to love reading!!!

It all started with meeting for lunch one day and going over an interest inventory.  Once I had that information at my fingertips, I visited the school Book Fair ready to purchase, purchase, purchase.  There were so many books about wars, dinosaurs, and hunting.  

The next week, I met with him to give him his special reading bag, a special notebook, and a special book that "I picked out just for you!"  Jordan was happy, but he became even more excited when I showed him that I also purchased a copy of the book for me.  We were going to read it together!!!  Wow --- you would have thought he won the lottery!  Jordan's eyes lit up, and he couldn't stop smiling.  He couldn't believe that he got to read with the Principal!!!

When we met the following week, he had already finished the book and was ready to discuss it.  How cool!  I couldn't get him to stop talking enough to eat his lunch.  After the conversation, I suggested we email the author to let her know how much we liked the book...he dictated, and I typed.  Sure enough, we had a response within the week!!  We printed it out and added it to his notebook.  

Let's just say, this was enough to keep him hooked!  Since February 2012, Jordan and I have been reading books together.  Sometimes he chooses the book, sometimes I do.  We find time to meet on Fridays for lunch and a book talk.  This is one of the highlights of my job!

Have I made an impact?  I think so.  How do I know?  When I came to school this morning (after being gone at IRC for the past few days), there was a book on my desk with a Post-it note on top:

Thanks for all the books you've given me.  Now, here's one for you!  Love, Jordan

That's right --- he visited the Book Fair while I was away and purchased me my first book!!!  Life doesn't get much better than this!


  1. I love this story. You have made an impact! Jordan is lucky to have you. I'm so happy to hear that he has returned the favor. You truly did change his point of view. Love your story telling and your happy ending.

  2. It does not get any better than that. What an investment you made and he recognized it, awesome.

  3. Awesome. What book did he select for you?

    1. How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying, by Scott Starkey

  4. This is the kind of administrator I hope to be. Your post put tears in my eyes. How inspiring!

  5. Thank you for continuing to inspire him! :)