Story from:

Renee Jones, Lane County

I was having a hard time connecting with one of my new little guys. He seemed uninterested, always sat with his arms crossed, and he kept insisting, “I can’t read.” I had to find a way to get him to realize that he could indeed read, so I came in early on one of our reading days to find the “perfect” book. The books that at least seemed to spark an interest in him had animals in them, and I found a cute little frog book that had the word, “Frog” in big bold letters on every single page. When I started reading to him, I got to the word, “Frog” on the first page and said it in a funny, loud voice, and made a funny expression, while I pointed to the word. I did the same on the next page, and he giggled, then on the third page, I pointed to the word, made the funny face, and waited for just a second…and then he said, “Frog!” Pretty soon, he was so involved in the book; just waiting for the next time that word would come so he could read it. By the middle of the book, I was no longer pointing to the word, he was. When we got to the end of the book and he had read the last, “Frog,” he clutched the book to his chest and said, “I’ve never read a WHOLE book before!” And from that day forward, his interest was piqued, he got excited when he saw me waiting for him every Monday, and I had a hard time keeping up with him as he swiftly walked down the hallway to get to his next SMART session. This little guy changed my life.

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