I believe reading allows students to explore new worlds and discover who they are. I believe reading forces students out of their comfort zone which in turn gives them confidence.
I was in fourth grade when I fell in love with reading. I loved sitting down and reading a book and not being able to put it down. To me reading was better than t.v. or a movie because I could decide how the characters would look. I loved that I was able to set down the book and come back to it whenever I wanted. I believe that a good book is like a good friend, when you’re lonely or bored it’s always there for you. Reading allowed me to escape the world and disappear and I loved every minute of it.
Coming to love reading however, wasn’t so pleasant. A fourth graders favorite thing to do doesn’t usually consist of anything to do with reading; I loved to cheerlead and dance, but my teacher Mrs. Bastedo was determined to change that. Mrs. Bastedo read to us every day for a half hour most of the school year. I always looked forward to reading time because it was relaxing and nice just sitting and listening with my friends. Not before long however Mrs. Bastedo said we would be going to the library to pick out our own DEAR time books. DEAR time we were told, was Drop Everything And Read time and we would be picking out our books the next day. I of course was terrified, I had never read a book on my own before. The next day came too soon, and before I knew it we were rushed single file into the library and told to pick out a book we liked. All the other girls ran to the Judy Blume books while I stood in this unknown world to me. I stood and wondered what I was missing out on and why the other girls liked so much what I didn’t want to even try. Before I knew it our time was up and we were told to move to the checkout line and head back to the classroom. Of course I was bookless, so I grabbed the first thing I could find and headed back to class.
Everyday we had a half hour to read and everyday I faked reading. I would sit and pretend that I was reading along with my classmates and I would turn the page every few minutes. Apparently I was not as sneaky as I had thought and my teacher caught on quickly. Mrs. Bastedo confronted me and asked what my book was about. I had not developed the helpful skill set of lying to teachers at this young age so I cracked under the pressure and admitted my fake reading secret. Mrs. Bastedo told me that she would be writing a letter home to my parents and that I would be getting in a lot of trouble. My mom grounded me from the t.v and she said that I would instead be spending my time reading the book that I had picked out. I had picked out the first book of A Series of Unfortunate Events and once I had given the book a chance I couldn’t put it down. I would soon read the entire series and fall in love with reading. To this day, every book I read I want to thank Mrs. Bastedo, because without her willingness to push me farther than I was willing to go, I would have never found a love for reading. I was a new confident girl after I read that first book, I was no longer wondering what I was missing out on, I was now experiencing it.