Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reading for life- It takes time

This is a story for "inspiration" that I got at our school's literacy meeting....why we need to build on language EVERYDAY!!! -Mrs. Kelly Smith

Reading for Life

"Reading is the greatest single effort that the human mind undertakes, and one must do it as a child."
 -John Steinbeck

So, THIS MAN decides to plant a special type of bamboo.  He goes to his yard and measures an area 20 ft by 20 ft.  Over several days, he digs down two feet to break up the clay earth, sifts the dirt, adds manure to fertilize the soil, carefully plants the bamboo, covers it, and marks off the boundaries.  Every morning, before breakfast, he carries water from the stream to his plot.  He weeds and waters and waits. Every day.
After a year, no shoots have appeared. A neighbor who has observed the man's daily efforts stops as the man worked away and asks, "Why are you working so hard for nothing?"
"It takes time," the man replies.
The next year, the man does exactly the same thing.  Every day, he walks to the stream at dawn, carries the water, carefully soaks and weeks his plot. At the end of that year, still nothing has broken the surface. The same neighbor walks by, "Why are you wasting your time?" he asks.  "I have some good seeds I'd give you."
"It takes time,"the man replies.
The third year, the man builds a small fence around the plot to keep out animals.  Each morning he walks to the stream and carries water to his plot. He continues to tend it with care. At the end  of the third year, when still no shoots have appeared, his neighbor asks, "Are you crazy? Why do you keep doing that?"
"It takes time," the man replies.
Three weeks later, the first small, green shoots push through the soil.  They grow. And grow, And grow! Six weeks later, the man's bamboo towers over 60 feet high.

It takes time.  This phrase has little credence in our fast-forward, sound-bite world, where a moment's silence on TV is referred to as "dead air" and multitasking is a way of life.  But during those years when it seemed the bamboo was doing nothing, critically important things were happening:  The roots of the bamboo were spreading, branching, thickening, developing the strength and vigor to support the bamboo's future phenomenal growth and size.  Only with watering and careful nurturing could the plant develop the root structure to support the towering stalks of bamboo.  Every bit of the man's effort, every ounce of water, was needed.

For your child to become a great reader, his/her mind needs similar watering.  You water your child with words-talking and reading.  It doesn't take a lot of time, but you must never forget to water, a little bit every day, day after day, week after week, year after year.

-taken from 1st pages of the book:  7 Keys to Comprehend by Susan Zimmermann

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