Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Here at Real Men Read with Kids, we encourage you to share your stories about reading with kids to inspire others to do so,too.

Today, Sgt. Charles Duerre’ the of LebanonOhio Police Dept shared this story…

 In my position as the day shift supervisor, I also serve in the role of school liaison officer. The counselor from our primary (grades 1 and 2) school contacted me to see if I would be interested in coming in once a week, in uniform and reading to the students. I agreed and am now in my second year of weekly readings. The positive impact that this has on the students is immeasurable. Many times when I am at the grocery, other stores or events in the community, the students will come up to me and say “I know you, you read to my class.”

I can easily say that this has become the highlight of my week and has quite possibly had more impact on me than on the students. They are definitely our most precious asset and we need to invest in their future, which in fact is really ours. I have been invited by the students to attend their “Young Authors” night and hear stories that they have written themselves and to be present in the classroom when they present written reports on topics they are currently learning about. The rapport that has been developed between us is nothing short of astounding.

The Sgt.’s story is an important reminder that adult men as reading role models can have a profound impact on kids. And, as he states, it goes both ways. Giving always tends to come back to us…

It was great that this counselor contacted Sgt. Lebanon. But you don’t have to wait for an invitation. Offer yourself as a reader to a class, a youth group, a kids’ club. Even just pick up a paper or a magazine or an iPad and read to your kids and grandkids. It’s that regular act of reading that makes you the role model that inspires a kid to become a reader, too.

Sgt., thank you for taking the time to share your wonderful story. Thanks for being the kind of hero they need. Keep up the great work!

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Real Men Read with Kids is all about helping kids learn to love to read. Here’s a great way to help kids in Kenya nd in Harlem love to read…consider joining this summer book drive.

This Summer, LitWorld is bringing the power of story to hundreds of young people from Kenya to Harlem, and we need your help! LitWorld is calling out to the community to help by donating books and school supplies as they embark on two important summer missions:


On July 8, 2011, members of the LitWorld team are headed to Kenya to visit our partners at the Children of Kibera Foundation. LitWorld works very closely with the Children of Kibera Foundation’s Red Rose School, where we run programs such as the Girls Clubs for Literacy Project. The Red Rose School is a beacon of hope for the children of Kibera, and is a positive learning environment providing education for children who are HIV/AIDS orphans.


Starting this summer, LitWorld will set up the Story Power Camp project, a summer reading enrichment program for the youth of the Children’s Village, Polo Grounds Community Center. The Story Power Camp aims to engage young people in reading and writing through fun, interactive activities, while encouraging each participant to boldly share their personal stories. The Children’s Village works in partnership with families to help society’s most vulnerable children so that they become educationally proficient, economically productive and socially responsible members of their communities.

To contribute, view their wishlist via Amazon here (donations are being accepted until 6/30/2011)


Posted: March 6, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

James Preller over at the Father’s Read blog has got a great idea… what can we do to get boys to read? Get fathers to read to kids! I’ve been busy with a new job, family matters, and other projects lately, so I appreciated very much James’ link to our Real Men Read with Kids blog to help jump start me again here…. let’s keep the momentum going. The boys in our world still need us – still need men, especially – to be the role models for reading and learning and growing into smart, capable men.

Take a look at his blog and contribute what you can… we’ll keep in touch and maybe the synergy of our blogs can get more boys (and girls) to be readers!

Christmas Tree Closeup 3photo © 2009 Zechariah Judy | more info (via: Wylio)

This holiday make your gift-giving count for your young readers. Give them gifts that will encourage them to want to read…here are twelve suggestions for starters:

  1. A Basketful of Books – it’s a no-brainer! The more books and other reading material there is in the home, the more likely a child is to read, and, therefore, the better readers they will become. Better yet, bundle them with themed items, for example, if your reader likes basketball, bundle a basketball with a biography of his/her favorite hoops player or Charles Smith’s book of basketball poetry called Hoop Kings.
  2. A home-made coupon book full of promises like “30 minutes of reading time with mommy” and  “Book and Buddy time with dad”. They’ll love you for the time you spend with them.
  3. A really cool comfy chair or pillows to curl up on while they read.
  4. A subscription to a magazine of interest to your child. Magazines are good entry points for lots of reluctant readers, so choose one that is age-appropriate and of high-interest!
  5. A good book light (like the Itty Bitty Book light) that allows him or her to snuggle under the covers and read after bedtime!
  6. For your teen – an “I Read Banned Books” bracelet bundled with one of the great banned books like Chris Crutcher’s Athletic Shorts or Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
  7. Show them some cool reading websites like or where they can join a discussion group and get recommendations of good books.
  8. If you think they are ready, how about an e-book reader like the Kindle, BeBook, or the Barnes & Noble Nook. Here’s a list of reviews for the top 10 e-book readers.
  9. Nothing better than a gift that keeps on giving…A subscription for a monthly delivery of books right to the mailbox like GiftLit. A friend of ours started this for my son when he was born and kept it up till he was 10 years old. I credit her with helping him get a great start on reading!
  10. Comic books – for those especially reluctant readers. Visual stories are engaging and perfect entry points to the world of reading.
  11. If you can are willing to put out a few extra bucks, kids love interactive books like those found with the Leap Frog Tag system, which won Toy of the Year for 2009!
  12. And to encourage them to visit the library often to find new and exciting books, how about a The Library is Cool” book bag for hauling their books back and forth.

What are your favorite gifts for readers?

Cross-posted on Four Circles Learning blog.

Sometimes kids, especially boys, just need a little nudge or a challenge to get them to read.  If you have a boy who might like the chance to earn a $100 gift certificate “good for any product in the Boy Scouts official retail catalog”, then here’s a contest for him. He just needs to write a one-page report titled “The Best Book I Read This Year” and submit it to:

Boys’ Life Reading Contest
P.O. Box 152079
Irving, TX 75015-2079

Deadline is Dec. 31st. Get more details here.

Mr. Gascon & child reading at Griffin's Martial Arts

What do martial arts and reading have in common? They both empower a person to be smarter, stronger, more confident. So what better place to promote reading than in a martial arts dojo/dojang?

Sensei Sean Griffin of Griffin’s Martial Arts in North Fort Myers, Florida has been promoting reading in his dojang and recently shared some photos of men reading with kids and older kids reading with younger kids. Check our FlickR page to see all the pictures.

We commend Sensei Griffin for his efforts. We’d love to see other dojos/dojangs rise to the challenge and encourage more men to read with kids. If your dojo is reading with kids, let us know about it by sharing your story here.

If you need some help to get started, here are a couple of lists of martial arts-related books that your dojo students might enjoy.

Gamsahabnida, Sensei Griffin!

During the past few weeks I’ve been combing through our family photos – both print and digital – looking for images of men reading – my son, my husband, my dad, cousins, friends, anyone reading a book or magazine or even a website. In the collection of 30 years or so of photos I found exactly TWO – both of my husband reading the Sunday comics with our son when he was very young.

This discovery – or lack thereof – stopped me in my tracks. Why? Because we are a family of readers. We have always had shelves and shelves of books in our home. My son started getting regular delivery of books from friends when he was 6 weeks old and he’s now 23. My husband and I are both readers. We’ve had book club meetings at my house. And through all these years we’ve never thought about this simple act of reading as an event worthy of capturing in an image. It made me think about how seldom I have seen images of people reading. The only places I can think of are libraries – with those big READ posters showing celebrities holding a book. Outside of libraries (and maybe schools) there are very few images of people reading. When and where is the last time you saw an image of someone reading?

The more I thought about this, the more I wondered about how we portray the things we value in our society today. We are bombarded with advertisements and TV shows containing images of skinny girls, beautiful skin, buff guys, and tasty foods. There are images everywhere of musicians, sports stars, movie stars, and things to buy. These ads make us value those qualities and items and want to be like those people in them.  Young people are especially swayed by these kinds of images.

So, I have to wonder if we create and display more positive images of people reading – especially of men reading – will seeing those images increase the value of reading in the eyes of the viewers? Could we get more boys to become readers if they see more images of men reading each day? Would attitudes about the value of reading change just by being surrounded with images of people  happily reading?

I think it is worth a try… so here’s your challenge. Create or capture an image of yourself  – or someone else – reading.  Put it up somewhere. Share it. Show it to kids. Post it here or email it to If you’re a man reading with kids, post it on our realmenreadwithkids FlickR site.

Can we improve the value of reading in the eyes of our kids, in the hearts of those reluctant readers, for a new generation?

We’ll never know if we don’t try. I dare you.

I came across this great post by July Berna this morning about why we should read picture books to older kids. She says:  “Picture books are seen as something for little kids, a minor step on to bigger and better things. I understand the pressure parents are under to keep their children moving forward academically. But letting go of picture books too early is not the answer.”

She goes on to explain how picture books can help even older kids understand complex or difficult topics such as illness, family relationships, etc.  She also cites a very important aspect of curling up with a book and reading with your kids at all:

“Then I’m reminded of a lesson I learned in my elementary education classes in college. The topic was reading to children, and all of the positives that can come from it. Someone questioned our professor, wondering how reading to an infant or toddler could do any good. I’ll never forget his answer. “A child who’s read to, even before he has any concept of a book, learns to associate the warm cozy feeling of being nestled in a parent’s arms with reading. For the rest of his life he’ll have positive feelings about learning and reading.” ”

Pushing kids into chapter books could actually turn them off of reading, if done too soon. Be aware of your child’s developmental level and interests, and always give them choice and control when reading for pleasure.

As role models and as readers with kids, using picture books, even with older kids can be a winner all the way around…

For more read the whole post at  GeekMom » Blog Archive » The Reason We Should Read Picture Books to Older Kids.

Most parents spend some time reading with their kids, but many of us may not know that how you read with your children is as important as whether you read with your children.  Here are a few tips on how to read with your kids:

  • Talk about the book with your child before reading it
  • Use an enthusiastic voice when reading aloud
  • Let your child ask questions about the book

(Source: Emergent Literacy by Ruth A. Wilson, Ph.D.)

In addition, these pointers will help your child begin to love reading. Making reading fun is especially important because the more enjoyable it is, the more a child will read. The more a child reads, the better reader he/she becomes.

  • Give kids Control and Choice in their reading selections
  • Make it fun, light, enjoyable
  • Use humor when appropriate
  • Keep the reading flow going – don’t bog down in decoding (sounding out words)
  • Ask questions during reading – about the meaning of  the story or parts of the story, rather than questioning about words and sounds of letters

Reading aloud to children is the single most important activity for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading.

Tips for reading aloud – from Reading is Fundamental
Tips from kids for parents – Reading Rockets
Tips for teaching kids to enjoy reading – from Parent’s Choice

Find more tips, booklists, audiobook info, and research about boys and reading on the Resources for Readers page.