The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 2 - Page 26


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but he found one… a teacher. The teacher gave him hope and let him know every day that he mattered, and that he was capable. The boy became an avid reader, and eventually an avid writer. With guidance from his teacher and hard work, the young man earned a scholarship to Yale, and became a Pulitzer Prize winning author.. We may not have future Pulitzer Prize winners in our classrooms, but we do have children who can learn to crave reading if we give them some books on their level, and allow them to choose other books that appeal to them… whether they are considered too easy or too hard. If they are excited about the book, let them have it.

5. Teach children to love all types of books. I mean REALLY love them. Yetta Goodman (Owocki, G & Goodman, Y. 2002) says that careful “kidwatching” allows you to plan teaching that is tailored to individual strengths and needs. Find out what each child is interested in. Talk with him about books, and pick out a book for an individual child about something that interests him. Tell him, “I found this book and it made me think of you. Read it and let’s talk. I’m interested in your ideas about this.” Many children have technology down pat. Teach them to love the printed word as well -- for its beauty, for instructional purposes, and especially for those interests the child will develop. Many of us have developed a vocation, or an avocation, based on something we read early in our lives. My request of you is to please focus on books that spur children’s motivation to read. No one ever saw a kid get excited about a standard.

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Dr. Ann Powell-Brown taught students and supervised teachers in urban schools for many years before she began her career at The University of Central Missouri (UCM). She earned her Ph.D. in Reading Education, with a minor

in ethnic studies, at The University of Missouri Kansas City. She has loved every minute of her 19 years at UCM, and when she retires later this year, she will greatly miss her colleagues and students. "Dr. P-B" loves to do research, travel, write, and of course she loves to read. She is also a self confessed "film nut." She lives in Kansas City with her husband and a feisty family dog who thinks humans are his pets.