(Trying) to raise a reader

Some of my favorite summer memories consist of trips to the library, filling out library reading logs, and completing the library summer challenges. As a result, public libraries have a very special place in my heart.

My parents are first generation Vietnamese immigrants. Growing up they did everything they could to help me with school work. Despite their hardest efforts their little English put limits on how much they could help me. Instead, my resourceful parents took me to our neighborhood library to get homework help, to check out books, and to spend time exploring whatever interested me.

The library became the place you would often find me. I would be there after school completing homework with volunteers, reading the latest Nancy Drew books, or later in my jr. high years just meeting up with friends. On the weekends, my mom would pack my backpack with snacks and I along with my four (later five) younger siblings would spend our mornings at the library.

Now, as a mom I am excited to come back to the children’s section of the library. As I walked my son around the children’s section I found myself transported back to my childhood. I smiled as I remembered checking out books on tape as a way to ‘read’ books that were too hard for me. I happily sighed as I recalled reading the backs of books to decide which ones would make my weekly checkout list.

I hope my son will enjoy reading and find the library as familiar and safe a place as I always have. Last week, he became the youngest reader at our local library to participate in Rahm’s Reader: Full STEAM Ahead Chicago Public Library summer reading program. To participate in the program I have committed my little guy to 300 minutes of summer reading (about 20 minutes a day), at least one creative, one learning, and one discovery activity. We will log our reading and other experiences in the Full Steam Ahead booklet the library provided us. It’s already been a week since we have signed up and I am happy to report we are right on track.

My little guy and the library volunteer that helped sign us up.

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My little guy reading his first book at the library. At first he thought the book was a book about how to party but then quickly realized it was actually about how to potty. He liked it anyway and had me read it to him twice.

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Seattle 1 of 3: Enjoying the Seattle Sights

We have just returned from our five days in beautiful Seattle.  We had a great time!  For any of you considering where your next vacation will be I encourage you to consider Seattle.  There was so much to do and experience, I have to break my Seattle recap into three different posts.

Today’s post will focus on the city of Seattle sights.  A kid friendly city, we had no trouble using public transportation to get around.  All the sights we visited were stroller friendly and our little guy loved every moment of it.

So what did we do?

We first visited the International Fountain and enjoyed a choreographed water and music show.

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untitled (15 of 207)We continued our walk and found ourselves in awe of the Space Needle.

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We took a ‘break’ and visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum.

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The next day we visited the famous Pikes Place Market.

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Left Pikes Place Market to enjoy other sights of Seattle.  The day was gorgeous.  There was a light breeze and bright blue skies.

walkWe then stopped at one of my favorite sights of the entire trip the Seattle Public Library.

untitled (67 of 207)We took a moment to appreciate the Olympic Sculpture Park and later in our trip visited Bruce Lee’s gravesite.

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We indulged our love for music at the EMP Museum where we recorded our band, 3 Miles Island’s, first music video.  Turns out our little guy is more of a DJ than a drummer.

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We took a ferry to Bainbridge and admired the Seattle skyline.

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We ended with one last view of Seattle from Kerry Park.

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Have you been to Seattle?  What’s your favorite sight?