The Need to Read

By Theresa Masciale, Intern

As a current English literature graduate student, my love for reading is pretty pronounced. Reading is one of my favorite hobbies; a hobby that can transfer me to any world I like, whether it be J.K. Rowling’s whimsical world of Hogwarts or Edith Wharton’s veneered late 19th century New York. And while I have the power to unlock the door to any fictional realm, that key was difficult to obtain.

I had to start early, wading through a series of Bob Books and Little Golden Books before I finally gained the essential tools to unlock my true interest: R.L. Stine’s grotesque Fear Street books. Learning to read early on was absolutely essential in not only finding my passion for suspense and thriller novels, but also in guiding me on my way to obtaining a Masters in English.

Literacy is vital in ensuring success in both academic and work settings. Despite the importance of literacy, 23% of Houston’s population is illiterate. This means that not only are 23% of Houstonians missing out on literary adventures, they are also missing out on academic pursuits and job opportunities.

ReadMe_cvrChris Helene Bridge, author, artist, and mother, recognized this problem and sought to create a children’s book that not only embodies a child’s playful yearning to read, but simultaneously charges parents and guardians to allow and inspire a child’s exploration of books. It is no surprise that children who are read to at home have a higher success rate in school. The National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) found that children who are read to more frequently than others are more likely to: count to 20 or higher, write their own names, and read on their own. With statistics such as these, books like Bridge’s Read to Me! are necessary in inspiring an interest in reading for both a child and their guardian. Taking time to crack open even a small book like Bob Books or Little Golden Books can make all the difference in a child’s academic future.

So when you’re tucking your child in for bed and they ask you to read to them, pick any book they like, perhaps even Read to Me! The endearing construction paper cut outs that decorate each page, made by kids and collaged by Bridge, will surely capture a child’s eye. Reading with your child will further them on their journey to unlocking more doors—doors that can open to both imaginary lands and real life opportunities.

Bright Sky Press
Where Texas Meets Books Literacy.