You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be –
I had a Mother who read to me.
– Strickland Gilliam
This poem means the world to me because I had the reading mother and a reading father. We may have struggled for necessities while my dad went to college—but we always had books. We were read to daily. My father, though exhausted from night school and working the steel mills by day, took us to the library every Saturday morning after breakfast.
As we celebrate Dr. Seuss, this month, we are reminded that for a child to succeed he or she must read. Dr. Seuss books have a rhythm or cadence that encourages reading. My sister and I taught my brother to read at age three by using just Dr. Seuss books. The word endings whether real or not established that skill of seeing groups of like letters that make similar words – that is reading.
Please vow to read to your child daily. Ask questions about the book, its locale, characters, and what the characters were thinking. Find the letter of the week and sight words. Let your child make books. Most of all, let your child see you reading.
Schools alone cannot be the source to teach your child to read. Reading comes from the love of stories, adventures, silliness, and all the wonderful things that come from books.
It’s March—the month of magical Leprechauns and rainbows and pots of gold. As the poet above said about his mother—there is no better treasure than that which comes from reading. Set out today to give the pot of gold to your children and make reading the treasure in your family.