It may be a little obvious that I haven’t been reading this whole month. But, as always, there’s a reason. I hate to explain why I haven’t been reading because it just sounds like another excuse, but this time it’s actually a good reason.
So this is why: I started volunteering on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with Open Books, a bookstore and non-profit literacy organization here in Chicago. My boss was wonderful and allowed me to come in late on those two days, as long as I still put in my eight hours. I go from my apartment to the school, and from the school to work. With all the travel time, I’m putting in more than the 40 hours I normally do. And of course, less free time means less reading. But I’ve got to say, it’s pretty worth it.
I’m working with a group of awesome eighth-graders in Open Book’s ReadThenWrite program. The book we’re reading is Sandra Cisneros’s “The House on Mango Street.” How perfect, right?! I get to help these kids read and learn from one of my favorite author’s best known work. I’ll probably post something more detailed about my experience later in February. So far we’ve been reading and we just got to writing last week. It’s so much fun, in a completely nerdy but important way.
I’ve als been working on a website for women of color with some amazingly talented ladies, so my time has definitely been taken up by things other than reading. And while I regret not having had the time to read as much as I would’ve liked this month, I can at least say that I’ve been sharing my love of reading with the students. I know for sure they think I’m nerdy for loving books and writing, but I can tell it’s starting to rub off on them a little bit and I couldn’t ask for more!