I am an emerging fiction writer living in Chicago. While I am a Luddite, I am using the forum because I love to meet new people, especially fellow artists, and learn new things.

Anyone interested in reading my published work can access it through the link under the My Web Site header on this blog. My short story "Life Goes on Without Me" recently won an honorable mention from Conclave: A Journal of Chracter's 2009 Fiction Contest. I am currently working on a novel, new short stories, and a creative non-fiction essay. My friend T.E. Russell has encouraged me to write a screenplay.

And as always, I am still submitting, submitting, submitting.

I look forward to meeting and reading from you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Literacy Begins at Home and During Childhood

I never thought I would follow a web site by Gwenyth Paltrow (though I do respect her as an actress), but a friend of mine encouraged me to check out .  I did and was impressed.  Now I receive updates from  her postings.  Today's was about reading to children.

While in my neighborhood I do see children playing in the park across from my condo, it seems most children these days do not play and prefer staying inside to watch television, play video games, and sit at the computer.  Bad enough they are not getting exercise, but they are not reading, which is a bigger tragedy.

Having taught college-level freshman composition for the past eleven years, I am sad to say that it is a minority of my students who are bookworms.  Yet in my Anne Sexton seminar this past winter quarter, I felt I was in paradise because the majority of my students were readers, writers, and/or English majors.  Instilling a love of reading is the greatest gift a parent can bestow on a child.  Even if a child does not become involved in the literary arts, reading has such power in our lives.  It stretches our critical-thinking skills as well as our imaginations and knowledge.

My fondest memories are of my grandmother reading to me and my father and godmother offering me books during my birthdays, holidays, and sometimes just because.  Even in childhood my room was filled with books.

Bill and I want our babe's room and childhood filled with books and music.  Our baby registries feature books and CDs.  We also know that babies and young children are ripe for learning a foreign language.  The first one I plan to share with the babe after she arrives in August is Italian.  I am by no means fluent, but it will expose her to a language outside of English and help her when she is exposed to other foreign languages later on.  Neurons are making connections in infancy and early childhood, these connections need constant stimulation.

Parents and society needs to encourage literacy before kindergarten and keep encouraging it throughout childhood and the teen years.  The foundation is invaluable.  But even I can admit that while I love to read, my spelling in English still remains terrible.


Teeluck said...

Hi Beulah, I came across your site and am just happy to come across a fellow writer...although I am not published yet, I have my first book coming out on Amazon in about three weeks...if all goes well. They are in the process of printing my first proof for my approval, after which its on to the big league. My book is titled Shock and Awe on America and I invite you to my blog to look around, hopefully you will find something of interest there. I will be on the lookout for new material from you, happy writing...T

Beulah said...

Congratulations. Stop by again soon. I am following your site.