Of late, I’ve not been able to blog because of yet another broken wrist. Hard to believe that I could break a wrist last July and again in May when we went to Arizona. Both times, it happened on a golf course. This time, the good news was that I broke my left wrist (I’m right-handed) but the bad news is that I broke both bones, required surgery and had to get a plate in my wrist. Several weeks of physical therapy have finally paid off and I’m able to type once again.
One of the perks of a broken wrist was more time to read and research. I’ve been reading a great deal about the benefits of reading aloud to youngsters of any age (yes, even teens). This literature was so convincing, that I determined I would devote most of my summer blogs to encouraging you, my reader, to seriously commit to reading aloud to your kids on a regular basis.
Furthermore, there were two articles in the Sunday Inquirer this week that caught my eye and touched my heart. “Our Deeper Despair” by Will Bunch, in which he makes a case that the “greatest moral crisis facing America doesn’t even have a name. Or arguably, it has too many names. Despair, Alienation, Depression, Isolation. Hopelessness.” Bunch discusses the drug crisis, spike in suicides, loss of church and community organizations replaced by hours of isolated screen time, as just a few of the reasons for what he terms “deaths of despair.”
In the same section of the Inquirer, Tom McAllister, a professor at Temple University, reflects on the past academic year riddled with student deaths resulting from overdoses, murders, and suicides in his article, “A Teacher’s Greatest Challenge”. His point is that a college campus today is often a “pretty desperate place” due to the many stresses college students face.
My first question after finishing these articles was “Can reading aloud be part of a solution to the despair and isolation experienced by so many of our youth. My heart says “yes”. To that end, I will be sharing with you not only the academic benefits of reading aloud, but also examining the far-reaching emotional effects of quality time spent reading to our youngsters and providing plenty of tips and book suggestions to make it happen.
Can this be the summer you reconnect with your kids on a deeper level? Can books be the vehicle that helps you do that? Do you yearn for more quality time with your kids and often feel as though your family is spinning off in a million different directions? If so, please join me as I share how you can “reconnect through reading” over these fleeting summer months. This important series will begin on Thursday, June 21st. Follow this blog and join in a conversation that may just make this your family’s most meaningful summer.