Blog: Today’s Readers, Tomorrow’s Leaders
by Mrs. Joann Scriver
HCA K5 Teacher
Readers are leaders is a catchy little phrase I have used in the classroom to encourage reading among elementary students! I believe with all my heart that reading is a key that unlocks the world of learning. Knowledge is power, and books are filled with it. An interesting quote from President Harry Truman says, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” Think about that one and let it sink in!
The more students read, the more their reading improves. Reading, while entertaining, also exercises the brain, relaxes the body, and calms the mind. As a mother, grandmother, and teacher for so many years , I have seen firsthand the incredible value of reading for both children and adults!
1. Reading improves language skills.
2. Reading provides good, clean fun … and is enjoyable.
3. Reading enhances emotional, mental, and academic development.
4. Reading opens up new worlds and develops the imagination.
5. Reading improves concentration.
I have enjoyed seeing my kindergarten students participate in a Reading Buddy Program over the years. Currently, our buddies are 4th graders in Miss Glasstetter’s class. When a young student is paired with an older student, we see wonderful results! Buddies can help the struggling reader, make reading fun and more interesting, improve confidence, and help grow self-esteem. The power of intervention is a source of motivation as the older student becomes a positive role model and the younger reader looks up to this new friend. The Reading Buddy process also increases comprehension and vocabulary for both!
Here at HCA, we’ve had some influential mascots visit over the years to encourage and congratulate our leader-readers: Ronald McDonald, Billy the Marlin, and Stanley C. Panther (who reminded everyone that Reading is Cool). This mascot was a former HCA student!
Although I understand we all have busy schedules, I encourage parents to read to (and with) their children every day. When children are read to, it increases their interest and exposes them to proper grammar. It increases their knowledge! A special reading time between parent and child also gives the parent opportunity to give that child a time of undivided attention.
I could go on and on about the benefits of reading, but will end with the blessing of reading the Bible to our children, and then seeing them read God’s Word on their own. Knowing what’s in the Bible is like learning our spiritual ABC’s.
So remember, today’s readers are tomorrow’s leaders—leaders in the school, in the community, in our country, and in our church. Yes, readers are leaders!
Mrs. Scriver has been a much-loved kindergarten and elementary teacher at Highlands for the past 30 years. She has taught approximately 750 kindergarten students to read, and that number continues to grow!