every child a reader

Reading changes your life. Reading unlocks worlds unknown or forgotten, taking travelers around the world and through time. Reading helps you escape the confines of school and pursue your own education. Through characters – the saints and the sinners, real or imagined – reading shows you how to be a better human being.
—  Donalyn Miller; The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child

We know that students need time to read, at school and home, every day. We understand that when particular children love their particular books, reading is more likely to happen during the time set aside for it. And we have learned that the only sure-fire way to induce a love of books is to invite students to select their own. CTL teachers buy the best children’s literature we can find, conduct booktalks and bookwalks, and help our students choose books, develop and refine literary criteria, and carve out identities for themselves as readers. We get that it’s essential for every child to be able to say These are my favorite books, authors, genres, and characters this year, and this is why. Personal preference is the foundation, walls, and ceiling in building a reader for a lifetime.

Starting in kindergarten, free choice of books is a child’s right, not a privilege granted by a kind teacher. Our students have demonstrated that opportunities to consider, select, and reconsider books make reading feel sensible and attractive to children right from the start-that they’ll read more books than we dreamed possible and more challenging books than we dreamed of assigning them.