My literacy started even before I was born. My mom was a big advocate for reading and writing so I had no choice but to enjoy it. My mom even got my name from a book she read just months before I was born. She was really enthusiastic about reading and still is to this day. Her and my aunt would constantly read to me hoping I would pick up a passion for reading like they did. I started reading at age three and writing at age four. I remember always seeing my mom reads these big books in a matter of days. I would then go to my grandparents and would see my aunt doing the same thing.
I used to yearn to e able to read such big books in a matter of days. I started off by reading Junie B. Jones books and being so proud of myself for getting them done within a week. Then we got introduced to A. R. and for every point you received you made it in the “hundred-point club” and received a prize. By fifth grade, it was expected for everyone to be in the hundred-point club. This is where I started getting into the higher level books like Harry Potter. I would always see my mom and aunt reading them, but always thought I was too young. Once I read the first one I finally understood what all the hype was about.
I didn’t fully nderstand some of the events or spells being discussed, which got frustrating, but my mom explained them to me to the point where I was old enough to understand. My mom and aunt would take me to see the movies as each one came out and I would instantly get re-excited about reading the next book. I learned at a young age that the books are always better than the movie. I used to always hear people say, “The book is always better than the movie,” but I never understood or even believed them until I started reading books at a higher level. I started off with the Twilight series.
I saw the movies in theaters and hought it was weird, but I didn’t want to wait for the next movie. Instead, my mom bought me the book and I read it and understood more, which led to the purchase of the rest of the series. Soon after she read it, it became our thing to go see each movie in the theaters. Ever since my mom encouraged me to read those large books, they did not scare me anymore. At this time, my mom and my aunt were my strongest literacy sponsors. They provided the foundation for me and constantly encouraged me to read whether it was academic or just for pleasure.
Every time a book fair came up I used to get so excited. I now know that if my mom and aunt never encouraged it, then I would not enjoy reading as much today. Another big memory I have of reading and writing was sixth grade. I became reconnected with my best friend, who like me enjoyed reading. She introduced me to all these new series and I gained a whole new love for reading. We decided that since we loved reading so much, that we could write our own stories. So we each had notebooks and would just write for days, then switch notebooks and see what each other came up with.
Those days we did not know what boredom was. Every time we had down time we ould instantly pick up the book we were reading at the time or would grab our notebooks and just start writing. I did not realize it at the time, but in middle school my best friend and her mom became huge literacy sponsors in my life. During holidays whenever we got money, we would beg our moms to go to Barnes and Nobles and just spend the whole day looking at the endless amount of books that were at our finger tip. It was not even boring for our moms because they enjoyed reading if not as much, but more than we did.
So we would go to out section “Young Adult Fiction” and they would go to their section “Adult Fiction” and typically we would not leave until it was pitch black outside. Without that constant competition of ” who could read their book the fastest”, then I doubt I would be even more inclined to finish the book let alone try to read it faster. Another big literacy sponsor is school. Now when I think of reading and school in the same sentence I instantly get uninterested but sometimes it surprised me.
I prefer to read for pleasure, but when I’m being forced to read a book in a certain period of time then I’m less inclined to read. Last year, we were required to The Great Gatsby. I had always wanted to read it but had other nterests. I ended up taking the book with me to the beach and reading it in just 3 days. Even though I did not see my English teachers as literacy sponsors, they have shaped my literacy in a way that was barely recognizable. They tested me to read outside my comfort level and to write beyond more than I would on my own.
Currently with the new school year my English teacher is my literacy sponsor. We do not read as much but we are constantly writing. We normally just set aside 10 minutes in class and just free write about whatever comes to mind. It isn’t the most complicated writing prompts, but now a day’s writing is writing. The only thing that disinterests me about writing is how we have a select few of books to read then we get tested. It’s not based on actually understanding the book, but just reading it to pass a test.
They have basically taken the fun out of reading and writing in that sense. Some literacy sponsors that are not as noticeable are social media platforms. For example, Twitter is all about reading other people’s thoughts, the latest new, and people opinions on the latest new whether it’s national news or a show having a plot twist of some sort. Twitter is basically one big journal of people’s thoughts and opinions and a place for hem to express themselves. Another example would be Snapchat. Snapchat is mainly used for 1-10 second videos consisting of various things.
Now it has different news outlets such as cosmopolitan and the daily mail. Other than social media, college applications become a big literacy sponsor for seniors. As senior year comes we have to think about college applications and a big part of some applications is the essay part. We have to write essays to qualify for college in general, honors programs, and some scholarships. The application prompts make us actually think about why we want to attend hat school and why we believe we should get in. Not ever essay is personal.
Some are just to see your writing style. It may seem to be a bad thing, but it also shows you how your literacy has evolved over the years. As I look bad my main literacy sponsors were my mom, my aunt, my best friend, and her mom. Without them and that constant influence to write and read I do not believe that my literacy would have evolved in the way that it has. I feel as though they have given me the different perspectives when it comes to reading and writing. I am very grateful for them and am excited to see my literacy evolve in the future years to come.