My mother used to tell me that reading to children is the most important thing you can do for them as a parent. I have seven siblings, and true to her convictions, she read to all of us until we were old enough to want to read alone. She read nightly for 26 years – 9,490 reading sessions with us all piled into her lumpy old bed.
We lived out in the present ghost town of Table Rock Village. Once a week the bookmobile would make the 45 mile trip from Rock Springs to our village. Once it arrived, the kids would line up outside for their turn to pick books. My siblings and I made up 50% of the line. The driver only let us choose 10 books, and only 2 people could get on the bookmobile at a time. Ultimately, though, our family would end up with 90 books (my mom got 10 also), and we each read every single one.
Fast forward 20 years: We can now see that early literacy sets the foundation for long-term educational success. This week I will be attending the college graduation of my younger sibling, and the 8th college graduation for our family – a milestone that makes my mother’s time and work really show. And when I get home, I will sit down with my kids for our 2,920th reading session.