By Hannah Marion, Intern, Summer 2014
Back in the day, when I was an eager little first grader, I picked countless picture books out of the black bins we had in our classroom. I remember yearning to be able to read those impressive chapter books, and trying determinedly to improve my reading abilities. Most of all, I remember reading The Fire Cat. It is a lovely little chapter book about a cat named Pickles who becomes a hero working for a fire station. More importantly, it was the first chapter book I remember reading. I read it time after time after time, so proud of myself for understanding all 64 pages! Looking back, I realize that learning to read wasn’t just about becoming a more accomplished learner, it was also about building confidence and beginning to identify as a reader.
As an intern at Book Harvest, I have had the unique opportunity to see young children excited and determined to read. During Books on Break at Glenn Elementary, I couldn’t help but smile seeing kids scrambling to uncover a copy of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and countless other books. I found myself smiling because of how happy the kids were to pick out ten books to take home for their very own. I knew that those books had the potential to foster great internal confidence and self-belief. This self-belief paired with their reading ability will help spur their developent as learners and as people.
What I find most invigorating about Book Harvest’s work is that it offers all its children academic opportunity and the tools to self-identify as readers. I wholeheartedly believe that these books will help children in our community to expand their knowledge of the world and themselves, just as I was able to do years ago. I feel incredibly fortunate to have served as an intern for an organization that does so much good in our community. It is amazing to see the possibilities when kindhearted and enthusiastic people come together to contribute their time and energy to children in our community.