What is your favorite memory of your mother reading to you? And favorite book?
This Mother's Day will be the first since my mother Phyllis Moffitt passed away in February. All the advertisements for gifts appropriate for mothers were saddening me until I realized what I could do to honor her on this occasion; encourage reading aloud to children. It was a life long passion of hers as she majored in early childhood development at Penn State. In her later years she supported Read Aloud WV and was a founding member of the Berkeley County Chapter of Read Aloud WV. Read Aloud WV recruits and trains community volunteers who visit classrooms, day-care centers and after-school programs to share their love of literature and knowledge by reading to children.
My mother practiced what she preached reading aloud to my sister and I every single night until we were out of elementary school just as she had our older brother. She would make us 7-Up floats in little Dixie cups and spend 20 minutes or so reading to us just as she had for our older brother. She read to her grand children and great grandchildren. She read aloud at Tuscarora, Burke Street and Bedington elementary schools and at the local library.
Several years ago Mom had to give up reading at schools due to health reasons. This past fall her youngest great grandchild, Reagan, began kindergarten. Reagan is a young cancer survivor and my mother determined at 85 to begin reading aloud again for Reagan's class despite her COPD and constant atrial fibrillation. She managed to do so until two weeks before her death on February 2. Reagan's class adored Miss GG as they called her and sent her wonderful handmade cards during her last hospitalization. Which deeply touched my mom.
Because my mother was such a passionate advocate for reading aloud, my sister read to our great nieces one of our family favorites, "Green Eggs and Ham, " as part of the funeral service. It was the best tribute we could think of to honor and celebrate my mother.
This Mother's Day, thank your mother for reading aloud to you. And please support Read Aloud WV, your local school and public libraries, and children's hospital libraries by volunteering your time or donating books or money.
Almost nothing we do in this life is more powerful than reading aloud to a child.
My mother and I particularly liked "The Secret Garden."