When I was a child, I looked forward to summer because I could read what I wanted when I wanted. I could escape into my favorite book, and create movies in my mind. I took that passion into my career, and I think that is why I became an English teacher. Along the way, life got busy with school, graduate school and raising a family, so I did not find the time to read for pleasure. Something was missing in my life. I missed the adventures I would find in a book. As my children got older, I gradually found the time to read again. I found my guilty pleasure of the good summer beach read or a biography I wanted to read. I would save those books for vacation and tear through them until the last page was upon me and an empty feeling would surface. I still do that. This summer vacation was no different. And yes I am a reader of real books. The tablets are fine for reading in the middle of the night, but to me there is nothing like a new book ready to explore. From the smell of the paper to the sound of the pages turning, reading a book engages many senses.
Today, my love of reading transcends into all aspects of my life. I love sharing my passion for reading with my family and espcially my granddaughter as she is starting to learn to read. In my work, it comes through "book club" with our administrative team, and reading to students. One of the greatest joys of my job today is reading with our young scholars. I love sharing with them a wonder of a good story. I ask them to predict and make decisions about characters, and of course, I love to bring the characters to life.
As a district, we have spent a great deal of time discussing the importance of reading. We are always looking for ways to connect our community to our schools, and our partners at the Madison Public Library are a big part of our plan. We are looking to kick-off "One Community, One Book" this fall. We will have more information available once school starts. We are also working with our State Support Team Region 4 on a literacy grant at North Elemetnary that will help to build those foundational skills so important to instilling the love of reading. In addition, we are always looking for volunteers to read to our studetns or have students read to them.
As you look through this calendar, take time to see what students, staff, board members and community have to say about reading and their favorite books. The love of reading is all around us. This may be dating me, but some of you may remember the phrase "Reading is Fundamental." As a community, we need to embrace the importance of literacy as it is vital to the academic success for our students and essential for them to be successful in life beyond school. Please join us this year, as we celebrate literacy in all different ways throughout our schools and community. If you have any ideas about literacy or just want to talk about the schools in general, please call me 440-428-9315.
Yours in Education
Angela M. Smith, Superintendent