Eight Classrooms and countless of books later, the book bag rests sprawled on the ‘spider-room’ office floor. It all started reading to two classrooms combined, kindergarten and 4th-grader classroom buddies.
Sorting through piles of books, I tried to match a ‘just right’ storybook with the right classroom. Tk loves stories about mamas, and 2nd-grade boys want to hear about a character just like the adventurous, cunning little creatures they are.
Ready to go, a bundle of books nestled inside a canvas, coffee-stained bag is thrown over my shoulder. I stroll over to the 3/4 playground. Children are scattered everywhere. A soft hum echoes throughout the grounds. Children’s eyes glued to their books as kinder kiddos read to their 4th-grade buddies. I feel a slight pain; my heart-strings are pulled as teachers gather the kiddos around me on the tarps. They must leave behind their perfect cubby holes under the equipment for now.
Eli pleads, “Will you read my book, Mrs. Durrin?” This tiny squirt with the most prominent brown eyes and a crooked smile holds up his book, Creepy Carrots. A dark goth cover with only splashes of dingy orange grabs my attention. I’m just a sucker for another opportunity to a read aloud. The dilemma begins as I go back and forth, doubting my choices. Finally, I found my out.
“I’ll be in your room at 11:30, and I’ll read it then,” I replied. And away we went on two glorious adventures. We danced with “Rhinocorns” and sailed through the pond with a tiny duckling as his siblings paddled ahead. We all bellowed like a pirate for the grand finale. We soaked up the touches of laughter and chatter in the moment of a timeless read aloud. Kiddos giggles hearing the silly voices of each character. A roar of claps erupted at the end.
It’s fantastic to watch the uncontrollable applaud where hands must clasp together. How do I capture the sheer joy I feel coming from them? The appreciation of a delightful story. A warm, soothing voice reading aloud with expression and passion. We were lost. We loved it. Then we came back to reality, and it was over. Teachers step in taking charge. Children scurrying away. The dusty dirt blows off the tarps as they’re folded up and tucked away. 365 more days till the Read Across America Day, but I will read aloud tomorrow.