This week we welcomed Eric Walters to our school. Mr. Walters is a Canadian author who has written over 100 novels and picture books. Many thanks to Mrs. Ayer for arranging this visit for our school. During the visit Mr. Walters, who is also a former teacher, talked about the need for strong reading role models. In particular he spoke about the need for boys to have strong male reading role models.
We know that many of our dads are at spending more time with their families than in years gone by. We also know that studies show that fathers are generally less likely to take part in traditional reading and writing activities than mothers. What dad's may not have thought about is the positive effect they can have when they grab a book and read during their time with their kids, especially their boys. Reading is a great thing to do together!
During the presentation, Mr. Walters poled the grade 3-6 group and asked how many of them think that they will become professional athletes. A large number of hands went up. He went on to explain to teachers that this perception can be a problem since an alarming number of students with this belief will decide (around grade 4 and 5) that they don't need to do well in school, that they don't need literacy and numeracy. The reality is that less than 1% of children play competitive sports in college. And of that 1% less than 2 % actually become professional athletes. As a mom of a very competitive high school student athlete I can say that I have lived this experience, and encourage parents to make sure that we have real conversations with their kids about the necessity of academics, even if students are passionate about sports.
As you can see this presentation got me thinking. I am so grateful for the parent involvement at Belfast. We have parents who care, who are involved and who want the best for their children. As many of you know I am a parent myself. Even as a teacher, I I know if I had heard this message earlier I may have encouraged the male role models in my son's life to be involved in promoting a love of literacy.