A blog about the amazing things teenagers do, about writing for teens, books for teens, and occasional forays into my world and the world of publishing.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Firefighters Doing Great Things

I'm standing in the school parking lot and I hear sirens, I see flashing lights, and then a fire truck pulls in. My heart beats faster and I get a lump in my throat. I don't know about you, but one of my nightmares is some kind of disaster at my kids' school, so every time I see an emergency vehicle heading towards the school, I panic a little bit.

But in this case, my heart was beating faster out of pride, not out of fear. Thanks to the South Bay Fire Department, my son, and several other kids from South Bay Elementary got to ride to school in a fire truck as a reward for READING.

The program is called Blazing a Trail for Reading. For two weeks the students kept track of their reading minutes. The results were tallied, and winners from every grade got the chance to ride to school on a firetruck. Because my son was the second highest reader in the 4th grade (YAHOOO) he was one of the kids who had a red flashing lights, sirens wailing, trip to school. He also got a certificate of commendation from the firefighters and a signed poster from the band Glorianna.

Let me take a side trip to tell you a little about my fourth grader. He's the nicest kid you could meet; sweet, funny, and smart, but because he struggles with fine motor skills his handwriting is very bad and he's had a few tough school years. Then, thanks to authors like Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull, he discovered reading.

(MOMMY BRAGGING MOMENT) During this year he has read more than any other kid in his class. His teacher actually had to add more paper to the reading chart on the wall of his classroom. The line that measures his reading minutes now stretches onto the window. Possibly as a result of his mass amounts of reading, his confidence has grown by bounds, his spelling has improved, and even his writing is much better. (OKAY, MOMENT OVER).

I love that the South Bay firefighters and Gloriana are celebrating reading. I love that the students, parents, and teachers all stopped and cheered each kid as they came off the firetruck. I love that my son was able to be a part of this.

I got a lump in my throat and my heart beat faster every time I heard those sirens coming into the school parking lot. I was proud of every one of the kids who earned the trip, and I'm so proud to belong to a community where heroes like our firefighters take the time to support literacy and make a big deal out of reading.

Thank you South Bay firefighters!

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