We've had another enjoyable week, with simply beautiful autumn weather. After a dreary October, the month of November has been sunny and unseasonably warm. We leave the windows open most of the day, and enjoy the sound of leaves crunching beneath our feet as we walk about town.
Now that Matthew is a first grader, reading has become an important part of every day. Every evening, a new book arrives in the backpack to be read by the following morning. Once a week, his class goes to the school library, and he brings a special book home for the week. And, three times a week, his teacher hosts a group reading hour, open to family, friends, and volunteers. The more the better, as Mrs. Marion hopes that each student will have one on one instruction from an adult.
These group reading sessions are so much fun! As the volunteers file through the classroom door, the students excitedly count the number of arrivals. Their little faces beam with excitement as they see their parent or special friend arrive. The teacher assigns each adult a group of 2 or 3 children, less if possible, and for a solid hour we are immersed in the challenges and rewards of helping children learn to read.
This year's program has been in full swing for a couple of months now, and the progress is astonishing. It is so rewarding to see these kids face their challenges, and bit by bit, every child improves. Some read with confidence and excitement, barely able to wait their turn. Others bite their lip or hesitate when the come across the "hard words", and struggle to sound them out, looking up frequently to gain approval and reassurance. It doesn't come easy for everyone, but the small groups allow the kids to learn at their own pace. Across the spectrum, they all do their very best, and respond with joy when they complete a task and get to move on to the next book.
These children are very lucky to have a teacher dedicated to literacy for each and every student. This foundation is her lifelong gift to these little ones, and it is both precious and immeasurable.
If you live in our region, please come to the first grade room most Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Fridays, 2-3 pm, and join the group. Or, if you live out of our area, please inquire at your local elementary school or library. Improving childhood literacy is a very important and rewarding goal. I encourage you to help in any way that you can.
I have a busy afternoon ahead of me, as I need to get started on a baby gift. Our friends were blessed with a new baby girl yesterday morning, and I plan to use a combination of the new "Minkee Tween" fabrics, along with some coordinating flannel & chenille to make a "Little Bits" blanket. I'm also going to try using the new "laminated cotton" from Michael Miller to make the diaper bag shown on the cover of this "Baby Boutique" pattern booklet. Click <a href="http://www.blogger.com/'http://www.dakotacabinquilts.com/cgi-bin/Store/store.cgi?&lastmenu=>here</a> to check out the fun new assortment of coordinates, and some pattern suggestions.