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Childhood Stories: Creating a Literacy Memory

Do you remember books, stories, and literary characters from your own childhood?  Do you remember when and where you read them?  Do you remember who read with–and to–you?  I bet you do!

Researchers and educators say that kids develop close memories of the literacy events of their childhood.  Most are good, but some memories may not be so positive.  Why is that?  Well, it may have to do with the challenge of the reading material (too hard), it may have been boring or lacking imagination.

So, I got to thinking…yes, I clearly remember reading in my closet.  It was a cool, angled closet with a sloping floor (the stairs were underneath) and it was my cozy little reading spot.  When I was “read to,” I liked to have my dad’s arm draped around my shoulders.  If he forgot, I would physically move his arms so they were around me.  Couldn’t read without that set-up.  As I got older, I can distinctly remember reading, “Are you there, God?  It’s me, Margaret” in the car on a rainy trip to see my grandparents.  I can remember completing my first “big kid” chapter book, “Super Fudge” as I lay in my canopy bed complete with a pink clip-on light.

What do you remember?  Tree houses, comfy chairs, libraries?  Berenstain Bears?  Pippy Longstocking?  Box Car Children?  Nancy Drew?  The Babysitters Club?

The fun thing is, your child(ren) are going to be remembering similar things.  They will carry these memories with them well into adulthood.  These memories will follow them and shape them into readers–and writers.  So, give them a reading memory they’ll love!

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