Friday, March 31, 2017

Adventures in ING: ReadING

Adventures in ING
ING is a wonderful world where kindness is important. In fact, kindness is the most important thing in ING and all the elves, sprites, fairies, and gnomes who live there celebrate kindness every chance they get. They celebrate small kindnesses like when someone smiles at them and they smile back. And they celebrate big kindnesses when someone smiles at them and they smile back.

One of the best things about ING is that everyone knows that there are countless ways of being kind and countless ways of celebrating kindness. The tricky thing for humans to learn is how to notice kindnesses. Humans have to learn to notice when other people are being kind to them just as much as the need to learn to notice when they are being kind to others (and themselves). (Yes! You can practice being kind to yourself!)

But...once someone learns how to notice kindness, many wonderful things happen. First, they start to see kindness everywhere. Then they are able to be kind wherever they go. And the funny thing about being kind - the more you do it, the more you want to do it, and the more ways you imagine to do it!

Those are the Adventures in ING. Noticing kindnesses. Being kind. Imagining new ways of being kind.

March is for Reading
The elves from ING take turns inviting humans to practice being kind. Every once in a while a couple of experts from ING offer ideas about how little humans can learn about giving, sharing, caring, loving, laughing, and living in kindness.

In March the Reading Elves, named Haiku and Story, like to explain how reading is not just a fun thing to do for yourself. It is an important one that helps make you more understanding, more knowledgable, less stressed, and - because of all those things - better able to show kindness. There is plenty of work to do to make reading part of your life.

A Letter of Introduction
When they arrive, Haiku and Story like to introduce themselves because that is the kind (and polite) thing to do.

Dear Small Persons,

Our names are Haiku and Story and we are Reading Elves from ING. We like to visit small persons in March, right around Dr. Seuss's Birthday, to have fun reading with you.

Reading is powerful business and it takes some time to learn. But there are ways you can make reading a part of your life even if you can't quite do it on your own.  
Once you are good at reading with your family, you can read by yourself, read to other persons, and even other creatures. So let’s get started by thinking about why and how we read.

We look forward to doing this fun and important work with you! Sincerely,

Haiku and Story

Four Ways of Reading - Some Ideas

Then Haiku and Story suggest some ways to practice reading. They ask the children to practice reading in different ways.


Dear Small Persons,  
When you are small there are a few different ways to enjoy stories from books. 
You can ask your mom or dad to read to you. Just pick your favorite book, walk to your parent, and ask! (Don't forget to start with, "Will you please..." Grownups are more likely to say "yes" when you ask politely.) 
You can also look at a book on your own. Just open one up and look at the pictures and the letters that are inside. 
There are even audiobooks for you at the library. You can get a CD and book that go together. 
However you make time to read something that you find funny or interesting is perfect. The important thing is that it feels good. Do you think you can read a little today? Tomorrow? Every day this week? 
Haiku and Story


Dear Small Persons, 
We think Reading to Other People feels really good! When you sit quietly together and look at a book, it is safe and cozy and fun. 
If you remember the words from your favorite story then you can pretend to read to your grownup. If you don't remember then that's OK, too. Just make up your own words for the pictures. 
Someday you will learn the letters and the words, too, and then you can read to your parents, your grandparents, your brother or sister. You could even visit an assisted living home and read to people who don't live with their families any more. 
Do you think you can read to Someone today? Tomorrow? Every day this week?  
You can start simply by choosing a book and saying, "Can I read to you?" 
Haiku and Story

Dear Small Persons,  
Did you know that you can read to animals? Of course, if you have a pet the you can read to him or her. 
If you don't have a pet of your own then you can find a different place to read to an animal. Sometimes local animal shelters invite children to read to the animals waiting to be adopted. Other times your library hosts therapy dogs who would like for you to read to them. 
Reading to Animals is often a fur-filled event! Be sure you use gentle touches and soft words when you read to them. 
Do you think you can Read to an Animal today? Tomorrow?  This week? 
Haiku and Story

Dear Small Persons,  
Reading doesn't just mean reading books. Words and pictures are used to communicate all sorts of things. Road signs tell drivers where to stop and pedestrians where it is safe to cross. In stores, words and pictures help you find bathrooms. At the grocery store, words and pictures tell you what is inside a box or can. 
So when you are out and about, keep your eyes peeled for all the places you see words and pictures.  
Do you think you can spot some words and pictures outside your home today? Tomorrow? Every day this week? 
Haiku and Story 

Saying Goodbye
Before departing, the Reading elves say goodbye because that is the kind thing to do.

Dear Small Persons, 
We have had great fun with you. Thank you for practicing reading with us. You had many clever ways of reading big and reading small. And every kindness counts! 
Haiku and Story


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