Academic journal article Education

Background of "I like Me!" Introduction to Reading

Academic journal article Education

Background of "I like Me!" Introduction to Reading

Article excerpt

About 8 years ago, I was involved in an elementary school volunteer program. My volunteerism included working with a young girl who plainly had no interest in reading, learning, or school ... her words and actions reflected that she had no idea of her life or its precious value. As she resisted involvement in these reading sessions, I decided to write a book about this little girl. I then quizzed her if she knew her name was in print. She became very stern, nose to nose with me, shook her finger in my face and admonished me, "Don't you lie to me! My name will never be in a book - books are about IMPORTANT people!"

That day, I went home to my computer and wrote a story about how special we all are. The next time we met, I told her that I had a very special book - a book all about her. I read the story - a story that mentioned her name time after time. Soon, she was peeking over my shoulder with tentative interest. Then, as I continued to read, she sidled up next to me, glancing longer and longer at her name printed in the book. Before you knew it, she was glued to the book-mesmerized by, and enamored with, this story that told her she was a special and valuable person. The story told her that she liked herself, and others liked her, too. Her name appeared in print over and over and over.

From this day forward, I spent hour upon hour in my basement making similar books for countless children--I had found my calling. My wife, Carol, is my greatest advocate, cheerleader, bookkeeper - in addition to the demands of her full-time position as Vice President of Marketing at Stormont-Vail Hospital and Medical Center in Topeka.

In 1993, I submitted a hand-written voluminous application to form a 501 (c)(3) not-for- profit corporation called Kindergartners Count, Inc., "dedicated to healthy self-concept development through literacy." Approximately four years ago, an educational contact I had made in California told me that I must find a professor by the name of Dr. …

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