September 19, 2014
My Journey to Literacy
My literacy skills began to develop at a young age, like most peoples. It first started through the typical bedtime stories read to me by my mother. I can remember her reading from numerous children books such as “Rainbow Fish”, “The Three Little Pigs”, and “Aesop’s Fables” to read aloud as I fell asleep. Due to her influence of literacy at a young age, I have had a passion for reading different books and storylines. The first book I remember reading by myself was “No, David” by David Shannon. Building upon this foundation of literacy, reading books have always been enforced throughout my life. My elementary school had various programs that encouraged students to read, such as the AR program, where if a student read a fictional book and took a quiz about the book they would receiver AR points that went towards prizes at the end of the month. Another program that helped increase my literacy skills was the Book-It program held by the public library, where children would receive a grand prize for how many books that read in a month.
The first major literacy moment of my life occurred in the third grade when I joined the Reading Competition Club. My elementary school endorsed literacy by encouraging students to read and answer comprehension questions about the books they have read. At the end of my elementary school career, I had won at least three of the reading competitions; the third one I won was for students who showed exceptional skill in reading and answering the comprehension questions at that young of an age. The fact that I had been selected and won these competitions increased my confidence in my reading ability, and therefore helped increase my literacy skills.
As I continued to immerse myself in books, I became very addicted to big chapter books. I enjoyed reading fantasy and fiction novels. Series such as “The Babysitters Club”, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”, and “Ramona Quimby” were several to thousands that I enjoyed reading. In the seventh grade my literacy took an abrupt change from fantasy to mystery when my English class read the book “And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie. The way this mystery novel was written intrigued me. I became incredibly interested and confused in how the murder got away with multiple killings without being seen. After reading this book, I became very fond of mystery novels; I continued to read mystery novels by Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, as well as the Sherlock Holmes novels. Reading fictional novels really helped me enjoy reading. They helped me better myself at reading books with confusing reads and long chapters and also helped me visualize myself as the characters in the books and go through the things they experienced.
While reading came naturally to me, writing was a whole different story. The first memories I have of writing are painful at best. My middle school years were the toughest years of writing for me. We wrote in numerous writing styles. In the 6th grade we spent an entire week on poetry and I despised it. I could not fathom how to put together a paragraph of rhyming words or how to express my emotions through a poem. Throughout middle school I didn’t really care how I wrote and had continuous problems