As I stood in the tutoring program library with my student, Hunter, a sweet second grade boy, he needed some coaxing to find a book to read. He just didn’t see anything appealing. At least not until we hit the row of books with the Captain Underpants series. After several weeks of pushing and pulling him through other books that he wasn’t enjoying, I was relieved that he found something mildly interesting.
As he sat and read aloud, I felt my ears flush, embarrassed by the subject matter that all the other nearby tutors and students could hear — plenty of references to farts and underwear and, well, things that second grade boys find funny. And that he did! As he read page after page, I saw that magic spark, the moment when children are delighted. And interested. And learning.
That night, Hunter thought tutoring ended too early. He didn’t want to stop reading. The next week, he grabbed my hand as soon as he arrived at our session, and wanted to hurry to get that book he read last week before someone else picked it. And the same thing happened week after week. He was hooked on reading because it was engaging him.
Nightlight Reading is about encouraging writers to write books that engage and keep boys reading and engender lifelong readers. Just like Hunter.
–Beth Peterson, Executive Director, Nightlight Reading