My Quest To Teach

October 12, 2015

Catch A Fire for Reading

Filed under: Education — William Jackson @ 08:30

Catch A Fire for Reading
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Teacher of the Year in DCPS
Instructor with Edward Waters College
Educational Technology – Social Media – STEAM

As the school year peeks its head out, the priority to
reading and comprehension begins again to show that
these two skills are the keys to academic success and advancement.

No two skills are the foundation for learning and the
continuation of life-long learners than comprehension
and reading in children. Reading cannot wait until Pre-K
or even Kindergarten, the skill of reading should be
started at toddler age if not infancy where babies progress
to toddlers and their literary, comprehension and just as
importantly their language skills are developing by parental
interactions. Reading to a child is very important for
cognitive development and even societal interaction.

Parents are the cornerstones to learning and must be sure
their children are able to grasp the skills of literacy, reading,
comprehension and language development before their
children step foot into a 21st century classroom filled with
educational standards, policies and instructional procedures.
If parents are negligent in their responsibilities they are potentially
committing borderline child neglect and promoting
educational failure. Many studies have documented that
if children are not on grade level by third grade they face
an array of educational and potentially societal challenges.

Parents should encourage “Catching a Fire for Reading”
early in the lives of their children. Find connections like
Cornbread Series by nationally recognized author Vincent
Taylor (Cornbread Series), Monica Knighton, Educating
Young Minds, Inc., Tangela Floyd, Introducing The Black
Superheroes Comics presented by YM Comics and The Adventures
of Moxie Girl Comic Book by Angela Nixon and her daughter
Natalie; just too name a few resources in the Jacksonville,
Florida area, there are more authors that are Bloggers, Vbloggers,
Microbloggers that are excellent content creators and
encourage reading and strong literacy skills.

Studies are providing data that if a child cannot read on
grade level by third grade they run the risk of being behind
academically if intervention and remediation methods are
not transformative and intensive.

A 2010 “Early Warning: Why Reading by the End of Third
Grade Matters,” this report supports the link in literacy
skills in America and how low achievement in reading
impacts an individual’s future learning and earning potential.
Studies: “Third Grade Reading Predicts Later High School
Graduation,” 2011 shows that a student who can’t read on
grade level by 3rd grade is four times likely to graduate
over age, if at all. If social-economic challenges are added
a student is 13 times less likely to graduate on time or at
all and potentially to be incarcerated.

Stated by Donald J. Hernandez, the study’s author, a sociology
professor at Hunter College, at the City University of New York,
“Third grade is a kind of pivot point, we teach reading for the
first three grades and then after that children are not
so much learning to read, but using their reading skills to
learn other topics. In that sense if you haven’t succeeded by
3rd grade it’s more difficult to [remediate] than it would
have been if you started before then.”

Parents encourage, be a role model and engage your children in
a consistent time of reading. Find out what your children enjoy
and have them visit the local library, museums or use online
resources to get access to reading materials.
If you are not sure of what is out there contact your local library
for library times, reading events, online books, books on CD
and even DVD’s that “paint” a picture of stories as they are read
when the child reads along with the book.

To further help, especially African American children I have
researched books that contain an African American connection
from many subject areas that all children, teens, young adults
and even adults can use.

“Catch A Fire for Reading” parents get engaged with your children
in reading. Online Book Listing
Link is:

Tangela Floyd, Introducing The Black Superheroes presented by YM Comics
My Quest To Teach Blog on Black Superheroes:

Reader Theater: Supports Literacy and Comprehension:

Cornbread Series
Vincent Taylor:

Monica Knighton and Educating Young Minds, Inc.
The Adventures of Josh and Monkey

Angie Nixon and (Angie’s daughter) Natalie
“The Adventures of Moxie Girl”
One Spark:
Comics Alliance:

Chinua Achebe – Blog by William Jackson

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: