Starting kindergarten is a special time, and it’s really special when you get to read books with Grammy to get you ready! For this addition to our Raising Star Readers feature, we’re delighted to once again be showcasing Deb Andries, a National Literacy Consultant who lives in Wisconsin, and two of her grandchildren, who are both starting kindergarten this fall. Emmersyn, five-and-a-half, will attend in central Minnesota. Grayson, also five-and-a-half, will attend in northern Wisconsin.
In preparation, they shared some very special books at Grammy’s house. They talked about making new friends, offering to sit by new friends at lunch, and inviting them to play at recess. They talked about how exciting it will be to get ready the night before. As the kiddos stated, “You HAVE to have your backpack all ready every night!”
The team shared many back-to-school books which Deb gathered from her personal and professional library collection. There are many great titles to share with readers as the school year begins, but one title is a particular favorite of Grammy’s: The Day You Begin, written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López. Deb describes the book this way:
“The Day You Begin is a beautiful story of a young boy who is starting in a new school. As the character tells his readers, ‘There will be times.…’ Grayson, Emmersyn, and I talked about ‘times’ when they may be new to a situation and how they might respond. I also use this book in my professional development trainings as a Literacy Consultant, sharing the story as an interactive read aloud, and with teachers who may be embracing new teaching and learning in the school year.”
Deb continues: “I have fallen in love with the message of this book! I share it with my grandchildren, friends, colleagues, and teachers because of the idea that new beginnings offer so much hope for each of us. Or as Jacqueline Woodson’s story puts it, ‘This is the day you begin / to find the places inside / your laughter and your lunches, / your books, your travel and your stories, / where every new friend has something / a little like you−and something else / so fabulously not quite like you / at all.’”
Deb concludes with this wish for everyone: “May this school year be the beginning of finding places of laughter, lunches, travel, stories, and profound friendships.”
Bookology is always looking for new Reading Teams to help us celebrate the joys of reading aloud together. Contact Lisa Bullard for further information if you’re interested in participating.