Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Read To Them

I realize that this blog is dedicated to fiction for adults. But I suspect there are many of us who have written fiction for children over the years. Our agents and publishers may not deal with children’s literature, but sometimes a story presents itself in a genre better suited to children than to adults. So what about those stories—the ones collecting dust on our bookshelves?

I have a suggestion.

Because I was an elementary school teacher for thirty-two years, I had the privilege of reading to children on many occasions. I read my stories in order to model creative writing, and I sometimes read simply to entertain the students. Either way, the children enjoyed the experience because it was “cool” to have the author present.

Even though I have now retired, I still go into the local school as a substitute teacher. And I always carry some of my children’s stories with me to read to the students when time permits. It is vital that children continue to develop listening skills, and what better way than to have an author come into the classroom and volunteer to read a story that is geared to a particular level?

There are many opportunities to go into classrooms or school libraries and read to children. Teachers are always looking for resource people to help promote literacy skills, and children make such a delightful audience. So I would encourage those who have a children’s story or two up their sleeve to dust them off (the stories, that is), contact an elementary school near you, get clearance to go in as a visiting author, and then gather a group of children around you and . . . read to them. It’s a win-win situation.

How many of you have had the opportunity to go into a school—elementary or secondary—and read to students?  How was the experience?


Debby Mayne said...

Great post, Darrel! I've read to students at schools and participated in the in-store reading program sponsored by Walmart/Sam's Club. This is the best way to get kids excited about reading.

Darrel Nelson said...

Plus it's just plain fun, isn't it? I love watching the excitement in children's eyes as a story unfolds.