Introducing a child to reading is one of the most rewarding events anyone can experience, and people like Emma DeBoer, a former BookSpring employee and now a librarian, strive for these gratifying moments.
Ms. Emma DeBoer sat down with BookSpring and revealed some of the key moments and ideas that a Bookspring employee or volunteer experiences.
BookSpring: How have you seen BookSpring work in the school library and in the kids that come to the library?
Emma: “When I worked for BookSpring, I would go out to school libraries, and I also volunteered at McBee, which always had RIF days, and the kids were always so excited. I would go in on Thursdays, and they would always be excited to go to the library, but on RIF days they’d be all dressed up and were super cute and were so excited about it. You could always tell when it was RIF day.”
BookSpring: What is your favorite part about seeing a child learn to read or learn the joy of reading for the first time?
Emma: “You just know that once they’ve found that, their life has been changed, right, because if they never enjoy reading from here on out, or if they never learn to read, or find that joy, there are so many doors that are now closed to them, because they haven’t opened it up. And my favorite part about being a librarian is finding that right book for that right child.”
BookSpring: To what extent does BookSpring and organizations like it impact your students/children that come to the library? How is their education affected by programs like BookSpring?
Emma: “It’s hugely impacted. In part because kids who we work with from BookSpring don’t own books at home, so the only books they own are their BookSpring books, and, not that the library isn’t great because it is, there is definitely something to be said for owning your own book, and that is a really powerful thing that BookSpring provides. And that is just as easy to change the life of a child as finding that perfect book.”
According to a recent study, Children growing up in homes with at least 20 books get 3 years more schooling than children from bookless homes, independent of their parents’ education, occupation, and class.
One of BookSpring’s main goals is to make sure that there are 20 books in all Central Texas homes by 2020.
Ms. Deboer stresses the importance of reading at a young age, especially having the tools to read before stepping foot in grade school.
“I think that’s definitely attainable. I just feel like it just grows, seeing their parents read and having access to that is so important, because if you don’t have that, there’s no way to foster it until they go to school, and in some cases it is already too late, because reading is already going to be hard, and not going to be seen as something fun.”
Although technology is advancing and the STEM field becoming ever so demanding, Emma reminds us that reading is still an art and should not be neglected by any means.
“BookSpring is kind of in a niche area, especially in the current educational climate, because there’s so much emphasis on STEM, and math and science and technology, which is also wildly important, but you can’t really do science and math and technology without knowing how to read, so I really think that BookSpring is still making that extremely important. It needs to be a stepping stone before you can even do anything else.”