"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them."
— Ray Bradbury
It is the goal of reading teachers to foster a love of reading. They employ many strategies to try and win young hearts over to the beauty of undiscovered lands, unrequited loves, and adventures that are daring and sometimes deadly. For some students, this one teacher holds the entire world and she does it with zeal and enthusiasm. But is it enough.
"When you sell a man a book you don't sell just twelve ounces of paper and the ink and glue - you sell him a whole new life. Love and friendship and humour and ships at sea by night - there's all heaven and earth in a good book."
Alliteracy is a concern in today's world. Parents who choose not to read risk raising children who also choose not to. But non-reading parents are not the only concern. The one place where students should be surrounded by reading role-models, school, they often are not. Surveys conducted of teachers show that they do not read any more often that adults in the general population. What can be done?
"Reading early in life gives a youngster a multitude of 'friends' to guide intellectual and emotional growth."
— Carroll D. Gray
Can the reading teacher alone turn every student into a person who finds the joy of reading? They try! They band together. They share their reading lists. They make recommendations to help each other when they have a student who doesn't seem interested in anything. They book talk, they display books, and they read, read, read. But would more kids be bitten by the reading bug if all teachers shared a love of reading with students? If the science teacher shared science fiction titles. If the social studies teacher book-talked historical fiction. If all classes made time in the day to show that reading is a priority, how much of a difference would it make?
You can't catch a cold or the love of reading from someone who has neither. -Jim Trelease