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The two most important factors in a successful read-aloud are a great book selection and a great delivery. When these two factors are present, it feels like magic. The room becomes still. All eyes are on the reader. The crowd collectively furrows at the worrisome parts of the story and roars with laughter at the funny parts. When good stories are read aloud, they can instantly lift up, teach, and unite diverse groups of people. Few things in life are so simple, yet so powerful.

On airplanes, they tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others. You’re only able to help another person if you have enough air for yourself. This advice can be applied metaphorically to any situation in life—and it’s the kind of advice that is especially difficult for teachers to follow. Teachers are the ultimate helpers. Without hesitation, they’ll set aside their own needs to help a student or colleague in need. So how do they avoid running out of oxygen? For many teachers, the answer is S-U-M-M-E-R.

To look into the eyes of a young person and see that he or she is struggling is difficult for anyone—but it’s especially difficult for the child’s parents. Students who struggle with reading often feel frustrated, tired, sad, angry, embarrassed, and a whole host of other emotions. The parents of these students often feel many of these same things. Many want to help their children but don’t know where to start. “What if I don’t have a background in education?” “What if I don’t have enough hours in my day?” “I know nothing about literacy instruction—what if my efforts to help end up confusing the child even more?” “There are so many programs claiming to help struggling readers—how will I choose the best one?” These are just a few of the many questions that can overwhelm a struggling reader’s parents. To these parents, our answer is simply: Let us help.

Make Your Student a STAR!

Read Naturally Star of the Month​Share your student’s success story—nominate him or her for our Star of the Month award. Win a Barnes & Noble gift card for the student and a Read Naturally gift certificate for your class!

pointer Submit a Star-of-the-Month entry

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