Opening the doors to IMAGINATION
I was honored to be a “guest speaker” at a parent/student program at Kealakehe Elementary School in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. This program is called “ABC Read to Me”. As a local author I was asked to read aloud from my own book, Pink Elephants and Chocolate Éclairs, Memoir of a Border Town Chica (girl), to the families attending this program. The evening event is not only for children to be read aloud to, but also for parents to have the same experience. There is something magical when you hear a a story read out loud.
As I read the story called “Chocolate Milk” and then an excerpt from a second story called “Pink Elephants”, I could see pleasure and wonder created in the children and adults, alike. As people sat eating their dinner, they listened attentively, engrossed in the story. Reading out loud somehow brought these stories alive. And isn’t that what reading aloud does for people? I love to have someone read me a story. I’ve never tired of it, even now.
The stories I shared both dealt with the vulnerability of a child’s tender heart and the importance of being supportive as a parent, teacher, or other adult figure in the life of a child. To offer unconditional encouragement, love, support and positive words that open the doors to imagination. A child’s mind is fertile ground for creativity to sprout, flourish, and grow LARGE. To expand the mind through reading and all of the fine arts is key to the evolution of a child’s development. Once that door to the imagination is opened and a child is given a safe environment, free from judgement or criticism, there are no limits to how far a child can go in life.
Another really cool thing about “ABC Read To Me” is that it encourages the parent to read out loud at home to their children, which will increase their own enjoyment of reading and expand their world too. There were dozens of books given to children from kinder to 5th grade and drawings for parents and helpers. I was happy to make a donation of art, art cards, mug, and bookmarks for their drawing.
We all know how important reading is. We all know how reading allows us to travel to different times and places, to experience different feeling and situations, to live vicariously through the author’s words. Reading is a great way to relax. It is a wonderful way to travel the world, to see the life through someone else’s eyes, and maybe to understand another person’s viewpoint and become more tolerant and understanding.
Reading, writing, art, music, dance…I wonder what our lives would be like without these glorious gifts? I don’t think I care to find out.
Here is a little girl coming to get her book, so sweet.