I recently told you all about how crazy this spring is looking for literacy programs in my life. While I have a moment, I want to give you some more information about how the Read NOW program is going at Treehouse Books. I feel like I have been given the chance to go back in time. It has been far too long since I’ve made weekly appearances in this building. Each week I go back I feel the wind knocked out of me with nostalgia. I walk over the Temple University campus, I pass my old house on Carlisle street, I run into kids that have grown two feet since I last saw them.
It is strange how similar the Read NOW program experience is to my first tutoring experience. The child I am paired with is very young, dangerously adorable, and one hundred percent defiant. The first week he didn’t show. The second week he showed up, but only to tell me that he would not be attending. I let that slide because he stayed to talk and introduce himself. It was also a gorgeous spring day and he was clutching his bicycle with every ounce of strength he had. You cannot deny a child a bike ride on a sunny afternoon. The third week it was pouring as I drove into North Philadelphia. This made me feel content as I assumed my little man would be joining me. He showed up almost thirty minutes into the program and it took me another thirty to convince him to sit with me and progress through one page of work. I have not faced this level of frustration in years and it made me feel truly blessed to work at a school where motivation is not hard to find. Regardless of the frustration I will be back for week four. I will sit in the chair next to his name and wait for this little boy. The point of a program like this is progress. Each step he takes into Treehouse Books is progress. Each page he reads is progress. Each friendship he makes and mentor he finds is progress. We just need to take things one step at a time.