Earl Martin Phalen interviews Walter Dean Myers

myers walter Earl Martin Phalen interviews Walter Dean Myers

Photo by Constance Myers

On a visit with our downstairs neighbors Reach Out and Read, I learned that their CEO Earl Martin Phalen blogs for The Huffington Post on the topics of early education, literacy, and parenting.

Phalen recently interviewed National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Walter Dean Myers about literacy and his ambassadorial platform “Reading is not an option.” One of my favorite moments:

I was raised in a foster home and my mom was not a wonderful reader—she could read with her finger tracing the words. She would read with me maybe three days a week. I looked forward to that time—it was just mom and me. I wasn’t conscious of learning anything—I was just sharing the time with her. And eventually by the time I was four I was picking up words because she was reading primarily True Romance magazines. By the time I was five, I could sit there and read to her. And it was not something that I was formally learning or she was formally teaching me. It was just the time that we spent and shared together. . . . What I’m seeing is that many of the parents think you have to be a really good reader to teach your child. And that’s not true.

Read the abridged interview or listen to it in its entirety here.

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Katie Bircher About Katie Bircher

Katie Bircher, assistant editor at The Horn Book, Inc., is a former bookseller and holds an MA in children's literature from Simmons College.

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