See Jane go. Run, Dick, run! Familiar words to any of you baby boomers? I clearly remember sitting in groups on little reading chairs in the front of my classroom, each student taking a turn to read from Dick and Jane primers. When my turn came, I aced the words and sped through expertly, eager to show my teacher how well I could read. Some kids stumbled haltingly as they read. I remember feeling impatient. Easy stuff, I thought!
It's only in looking back that I realize how lucky I was that I could read well at a young age. I have empathy now for kids who struggled back then. I remember thinking at the time that they should be able to do better. Slowness or learning disabilities back in my primary years were not addressed, let alone even recognized. Kids who read poorly would just get a low grade and probably felt bad about it. It took a toll.
I saw as the years progressed that poor reading skills for many of my classmates translated into poor performance in other subjects as well. That's because reading is the cornerstone of learning. If you can't read, you can't learn. Period. Everything in life hinges on being able to read and comprehend.
Because I caught on to reading at a very early age, I developed a love of going to the library and bringing home stacks of books to read - especially during the summer months. My lifelong love of books remains. Reading is still heaven to me.
With that childhood slice of heaven in mind, I opened Fundamentally Toys with a strong commitment to stocking a great selection of children's books. It is one of the store's biggest draws for customers. We even created a cozy section with a big comfy chair and quiet space to browse.
During the week of November 11 - 15, 2013, Fundamentally Toys will be celebrating National Young Readers Week. This annual event was founded in 1989 by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Many schools and bookstores host events with local celebrities who come and read favorite children's books. These events help kids realize it's cool to read!
Fundamentally Toys will be hosting daily story readings during National Young Readers Week, culminating on Friday, November 15, with a special appearance by Houston Texan left guard Wade Smith. The popular Pro-Bowler has a passion for instilling a love of reading and encouraging youth to make the most of learning.
Smith will be on hand for a reception, reading and fundraiser for The Wade Smith Foundation. The foundation's mission is "to facilitate the growth of today’s youth by providing them with the necessary tools to improve their overall development as young adults."
In support of The Wade Smith Foundation, Fundamentally Toys will donate 25 percent of all book sales during the weekend of November 15 - 17. It's a perfect time to put books on your holiday shopping list and it will be good to know that a portion of your purchase is contributing to a very worthy nonprofit that serves Houston children in an important way.