I’m aware of several sponsors of literacy in my life. In elementary school I had a teacher that really encouraged me to do well in reading so that I could check out the more difficult books in the library. During this time in school each student could only check out books that matched their skill level. I remember setting a goal with my fourth grade teacher that by the end of that year I’d be able to check out any of the books in the library. She was able to help me believe that I had the capability and was willing to provide encouragement and praise every step of the way.
As I entered junior high and into high school I lost that ambition. Reading was an assignment that I put off as often as I could. I’d lost my personal drive and lacked a positive sponsor of literacy. This led to me writing book reports that were merely sufficient. I believe that this also caused me to turn away from writing. I was doing well in my other classes. English was the class that I was always being told I needed to improve.
Luckily, during my senior year I had a group of friends that were avid readers. They would discuss the latest books they’ve read and share their new finds. They would tell me about a book that I just had to read. I started to read to keep up with the group. They were great friends and genuine. As I started reading I found that it was enjoyable to have even more in common with them. I didn’t always like what they liked. But, as I started to read more I was able to find what I enjoyed. These friends were the sponsors of literacy that helped me to enjoy reading. They helped me discover the types of reading that I enjoyed. Because of this experience I still look for people to provide book recommendations and friends and family even ask me, “Have you read anything good lately?”