Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Reading Party!

I am so incredibly proud of these two boys... 

I posted a while back about Miguel and the miracle that occurred when he read the first book in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series in just a matter of days (click here to check out that post). Well ... within a total of about 6 weeks, both Miguel, 10 and Jonathan, 11 read the ALL 5 books in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series. They did it without a bribe or even the promise of a reward. However, when they finished, we knew we had to have a party. Well about a month ago, we finally had our party.

Caroline and I picked up the boys at 3:30 and headed straight to the grocery store, we gave them each some money and let them pick out whatever pizza, snacks, popcorn and ice cream they wanted. It took us at least an hour at HEB to pick out all of our treats. We then went to Caroline's house to cook our pizzas play some game cube and finally watch the Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie. Throughout the movie they told us how it was the same and how it was different than the book, which parts it left out, and which parts they liked better in the movie. It was SUCH a fun night.

At the end of the night as we took them back to the children's home I said, "Thanks for spending the night with us!" and I was blessed to hear "No thank YOU!"  in return.

The goal of the night was to make it a really really BIG deal for them, because it is a big deal! They have each read at least 5 chapter books this year... the average person in Mexico reads less that 1 book per year! They are 500% above the average! I could go into teacher mode and write a list a mile long of all the benefits of reading, but instead I'll just highlight a few statistics....

Did you know?
  • Less than 4% of the Mexican population has access to a public library.
  • Less than 8% of Mexican adults have a college degree.
  • There is a direct link between reading proficiency and crime and that, two-thirds of American students who cannot read proficiently by the end of the 4th grade will end up in jail or on welfare.
  • Over 70% of inmates in America's prisons cannot read above a fourth grade level.
There is such a strong and direct link between a child's reading level and where they will end up in life. One of the biggest steps up and out of poverty that we can give them, is education, but without literacy, they will fail. Reading is going to change their lives.

I am so incredibly blessed and blown away by the fact that I get to be here in the year that reading is taking over the children's home. It seems like in everything we do this year, God is pushing education and specifically reading to the forefront of everyone's minds. The older girls have even caught the reading bug... but I'll save that story for another day :)

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