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National Grandparents Day: Fostering the Love of Reading Across Generations

| Family Literacy

September 12th is National Grandparents Day! With the special day just around the corner, we’re welcoming guest blogger Melony R. Archer, a Bangor-area mother, grandmother, and administrative professional at Northern Light Health.  Melony, known as “GiGi” to her grandson Max, who is 4 and my granddaughter Ellie, who is 2 ½, shares how her family’s love of reading has grown across three generations.

Long, long, long ago during the time I was a stay-at-home mother raising my own young son and daughter, I recall  the time we would spend together every day reading to each other. Occasionally that would even include reading to the three large breed family dogs who were part of our family at the time.

Sometimes, we would run out of new books to read, so I enrolled them in a “mailed library books” program at the Augusta Library. Each week we would go through the libraries’ list of available book titles, call in our order and wait excitedly by the mailbox for our new books to come. They both looked forward to and enjoyed the day we would trudge down the driveway to the mailbox and find stacks of new books to read! This would lend itself to a day full of reading those books over and over again. Then only a few short weeks later a stack of new books arrived!

That time spent together were some of my fondest memories of wonderful bonding time and it created a lifetime of good reading habits with my own children. Those same habits that I instilled all those years ago have now been passed on to my grands who both have a passion for reading and learning today!

While thinking about writing a Blog to address the issues of Fostering the love of Reading Across Generations, I thought it would be fun (literally quite interesting and at times hilarious) to interview my grandson Max about his feelings on reading.

Here are his observations, thoughts, and ideas:

GiGi: Why do you like to read?

Max: I like the stories and I learn new things. Mom says it makes you smart. I really like stories about animals!

GiGi: Why do you like it when your mom or dad read to you?

Max: Because they read in silly voices sometimes and it’s funny. I get to spend “special time” together reading with my dad.

GiGi: Do you ever read to your sister Ellie or even your dog Remington?

Max: Sometimes I pretend that I am the teacher and Ellie is the student. I used to go to the Bangor Humane Society and read to the dogs there. My dog Remington likes mom to read the best.

Max: Can I take a break for a minute GiGi?

GiGi: Yes, you can take a little break (only because GiGi is never in a hurry when it comes to spending time with the grands).

………three minutes and a stick of gum later, he is now ready to continue.

GiGi: What is your favorite book to read right now and who is the author?

Max: (with no prompting he points his little finger to the author’s name on the front cover) I can’t read it, but it is here.

GiGi: The author’s name is Ciara Flood. What is the name of the book?

Max: Those Pesky Rabbits. I just got this book, it’s new and I like the pictures. It is about a grumpy bear who is grumpy because he is all alone.

GiGi: Why are the rabbits pesky?

Max: Because they ask the bear for some honey. He lied to them GiGi and told them he didn’t have any.

GiGi: Well that is not very good to lie.

Max (in his little 4-year-old assuring voice): It was okay, at the end of the book because he shared his honey with the rabbits and then they were friends and then his life was better.

Max’s Mom: This book made me tear up a little the first time we read it together. It was such a sweet story.

GiGi: Where are your favorite places to read and why?

Max: Mom and dad’s bedroom before we go to bed. We get into our PJ’s, brush our teeth, bring a lot of books. All of us cuddle in bed to read together for a long time (“45 minutes” Max’s mom chimes in). Ellie & I take turns choosing what books for mom and dad to read to us. Mom takes us to the library in Hampden to pick up books from Mary (the librarian). We brought her a donut the other day because she picks good books for us.

GiGi: Do you have anything else you want to say during this interview about reading?

Max: GiGi did you know that Ellie can’t read yet because she is too little, but she looks at the pictures on the pages of the book and makes up her own stories. It makes us all laugh.

GiGi: Thanks for coming to the interview about reading today Max, I love you.

Max: I love you too GiGi, are we done now?

We’d love to hear how you are sharing the love of books and reading across generations and how you’re celebrating National Grandparents Day with your grand-littles! We welcome you to share on Facebook or Instagram.