When you walk into an elementary education classroom and observe the bookshelves, what type of books do you typically discover? “The Very Hungry Caterpillar?” “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?” “The Rainbow Fish?” Now don’t get me wrong, these are all great books written by outstanding authors. However, we need to take a closer look at the selection of books we offer to students, specifically by gender. Too often books are placed in classrooms because they are visually appealing or the teacher might really like them, but in order for the books to be beneficial, they need to appeal to all of the students.

When I was asked to participate in the Reading With Your Son Program by a professor in Gannon’s Education Department, I wasn’t sure what I would be doing. I approached the offer with a positive outlook. As I learned about the program, I immediately thought to myself, “Wow. This is going to be a great experience, not only for the student and his father, but for me.”

Basically, the Reading With Your Son Program is a father-son experience in which a college student meets with the father and son and listens to the son read. The central meeting place is outside of the school, such as a local bookstore, so the boy does not associate reading with a school-learning environment. Instead, we want this father-son reading time to encourage the idea that reading is fun. My responsibility is not to educate the student, but to offer him a variety of materials that involve reading (magazines, books, games).

Recently, I met with the father and son that I will be meeting with at a local bookstore. We will meet several times over the next few months and read together. Now, after walking around a library and talking with the boy I will be listening to, he shared with me that he loves to draw. My initial idea is to gather some books that I think he will enjoy and then give him time to draw the characters from the story. Yes, I will draw some characters too!

Hope you enjoyed my blog, and I will share more about the Reading With Your Son Program next time!

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