A top- 10 list of strategies to help the struggling
reader become fierce, unafraid, and strong.
We learn to do well what we learn to love; it’s as true in reading as in anything else. For 10 years, I’ve guided a reading program for boys at the Children’s Village, a residential school in New York City for children in foster care.
These boys have been through bruising school and home experiences that have made them feel extraordinarily vulnerable as
readers. Many have told me that they’ve never once experienced
pleasure in reading. But over the years, as we’ve built a culture for
reading, I’ve seen many of these strugglers make a breakthrough;
they stop seeing their struggles as a barrier to success and begin to
see them within the larger picture of the challenges all readers experience as they learn to find pleasure in print.
One of my students told me that the first time he ever experienced
joy in reading was when I read to him from Where the Wild Things
Are by Maurice Sendak. With his eyes full of tears, he said, “I feel a
lot like Max sometimes, all alone. But he makes me feel brave again.”
© CHRIS BUZELLI