Today was big day for Kevin. I knew a week ago that he would be getting a book to take home today. He found out in the classroom at 12:45 p.m. and by 12:50 p.m. he was the proud new owner of a book. If you have been following my blog you know a little bit about Kevin. He's a seven-year-old boy in the second grade. This is the first book he himself has ever owned; the first book his house owns. I hope he reads it to the point he memorizes it. This was huge. He was so proud of his new book that he asked me, "Can you take my picture with my book, Miss Bre?" Of course, Kevin. Of course. He was still concerned the book would go to his classroom or be put on the cart of books available to us through the program. Nope. This book is all for you kid. He said it was his favorite book ever. I asked if he had read it before and he said no but he already knew he would love it. That's the power of reading, learning, and education. Don't ever doubt your impact on others.
A brief update on his reading skills. It astounds me how much progress we have made in a month of reading together, once a week, for 30 minutes a day. We start each day with me reading to him while he eats his lunch (have you ever watched a 7-year-old multi-task? It doesn't work. At all.) and eventually move to us each reading every other page. Some days, when Kevin feels bossy or is really interested in the book, he reads it all to me. Sure there are words he struggles with but for the most part he can sound them out. I provide a little help here and there. Today we talked about the different sounds the letter G makes (the word suggest was confusing for him). Sometimes it is 'ja' like giraffe or 'ga' like game. We came across the word "through" and he asked why there was a G in that word because he couldn't hear it when he said it. Touché, Kevin, because I don't know.
We read a few Halloween and fall-themed books today and he breezed through them. He was explaining Beggar's Night to me (it's a Des Moines thing). I told him I didn't know what it was because I wasn't from Des Moines. He then proceeded to ask me about where I grew up so naturally I drew map of Iowa to show him. Then I drew the surrounding states. He asked about Florida and Arizona; at that point I pulled up a map on my phone because my art skills are quite lacking so showing him was much easier. I also couldn't draw the whole United States from memory. We talked about different states and where they are in relation to each other. Then he asked about Africa and China and Antarctica and I found a world map that showed everything. He claimed he is going to visit everywhere on Earth. I said go for it and good luck. He seemed pretty determined to see the whole world.
He gets three more books this year but he doesn't know that yet. I want them to be a surprise; I hope he is as excited for the next three as he was for the first one. In the movie "The Blindside," Sandra Bullock meets with a few of her friends and they are talking about the young man she has taken into her home. The quote goes, "'You're changing that boy's life.' 'No, he's changing mine.'" That's Kevin. I've taken reading and books for granted my whole life and Kevin puts just enough perspective into my life to keep me humble. He's changing my life and I didn't even know it needed changing.