Hour of reading valuable

Published 7:03 pm Monday, December 3, 2007

By Staff
I love to read but seldom have time to enjoy that particular pleasure. With a full week of gathering news and special stories for you to read my time is somewhat limited for reading.
One of the things that reminded me about reading was the story you see on the front page of today's paper. A second-grade class at Brewton Elementary gets a whole hour of reading time in each day. I envy them.
Not only do they get an opportunity to read a good book for enjoyment, that activity is giving them an education they may not realize they are getting.
Several years ago I had an opportunity to help people work toward getting a G.E.D. certificate. In assessing their learning ability and level of work required to meet their goal, I learned how important reading was to everyone.
For some reason, the students who tested well on assessment tests were readers. It was then that I discovered it didn't really matter much what you read, only the fact that you do it.
These students would tear through the weekly edition of The National Enquirer like it was manna from heaven. Others would scour each issue of Reader's Digest to consume every tidbit of information from the jokes to the tearjerker stories of struggle and survival included in every issue.
Personally, I have found that reading is an important part of learning no matter what level you're working at.
Just this week, I have found that reading is necessary to keep up with good writing as well.
I think I do a pretty good job of writing most of the time, but when you find yourself in a position to write several stories every day, the writing block demon is bound to rear his head from time to time.
I know how to tell a story if we are face to face, but writing one every day is sometimes more difficult. Reading stories, other than the ones I've written, helps me to keep the demon from showing up more often.
By reading, people are able to learn the meanings of words they don't normally use in conversation.
On many occasions, I have read words that I didn't understand in many stories. If the rest of the story didn't give me any clues as to the meaning of the word, I could be found looking through a dictionary somewhere to find out just what it meant. I learned vocabulary from reading.
Another lesson learned from reading is compassion. I've read of stories where people volunteered their time and service for those in need and felt a pang of guilt course through my heart and my mind. I learned compassion from reading.
I have read booklets and pamphlets on the proper way to connect all of those crazy wires between the DVD player, the satellite receiver, the Game Cube and the big screen television to make sure I can watch programs from any device in the house.
I have learned patience from reading.
I hope that if you get a chance to congratulate the students in Mrs. McBride's second-grade class at Brewton Elementary School that you give them a hug or a big pat on the back. What they are doing now, and will no doubt continue to do, is the most important thing they will ever do - read, and read well.
A librarian told me once that there is a whole new world in reading. Today, I realize there is a whole new world in our children.
Lisa Tindell is the news editor of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or by e-mail at lisa.tindell@brewtonstandard.com.