Today, after dropping my teen off at her camp counselor job, I made the rounds of the Pittsboro thrift stores and hit the jackpot. There were an amazing number of great books and I bought $40 worth. I was agonizing over spending our limited funds (insert shameless plug to hit that donate button!), but then I realized that I had just gotten over $400 worth of books for our money.
There will be lots of books at Just Right Academy. There will be books in the library. There will be books about science and math in that classroom. Books about Egypt fill the Ancient Egypt center. Gecko books will sit next to the gecko cage. I’ve even found a Lego series to go by the Lego table. As I look, I keep our students in mind; I know one child loves Pokemon, so there will be plenty of those books. Another likes animals and I’ve stocked up on animal books for him. Having enough books, especially high interest books for struggling readers, is so important. We have received boxes and bags of books as donations and I am constantly buying them as well. It’s hard to have too many books.
Today, one of the older builders at the school was watching as I moved books in. “I wish I could go to your school,” he said quietly. I started to laugh and then realized he was serious. “Why?” I asked. He hung his head and whispered, “I can’t read.” My heart broke.
I believe that every child can learn to read, and that will be a goal for our students at JRA. We have well-trained reading instructors who have had great success with all kinds of students. No adult should have to live with the shame of being a nonreader. And if we have anything to do with it, none of our students will.