OPL's Gary Wasdin: Let's teach kids that reading is rewarding

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Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013 12:00 am

In a recent talk, author Neil Gaiman said that fiction is a gateway drug to reading. It got me thinking about why some kids are such voracious readers while others aren't, and whether it really matters. Many adults spend a lot of time thinking about what kids read, and worrying about good books versus bad books far more than necessary. My advice? Don't worry about making a mistake when it comes to the right books, just make sure they are available to your child.

Our world is a complicated, crazy and confusing place. As adults, we sometimes struggle to understand why things happen the way they do. As challenging as that can be, try to remember what it's like for a young person who may not yet have the ability to assign words to feelings or express what they sense. Through reading, kids discover a world of contradictions, learn how to think critically, and find the words to explain the intangibles. Reading stimulates imagination and welcomes kids to view subjects from an entirely different perspective. Through reading, kids can encounter the unfamiliar in a safe environment and process how scenarios experienced through reading made them feel and how they might respond in a similar situation. They learn that choices have consequences attached.

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