Lifelong Learning Through Literature
Read Every Day in Leadville
By Joyce Rankin, Colorado Board of Education
I recently read an article by Catherine Winter titled the Ten Benefits of Reading: Why you should read every day. Many writers have written articles about the “Five (or Ten) Most Important…”, and you can fill in the blank. I’ve been intrigued by these articles because I can quickly skim through the headlines and see what people are thinking. Then, of course, I consider how the author’s opinions align with mine.
We were in total alignment about Improved Focus and Concentration. I identified with this because of the books I’ve read that I just can’t put down. Summertime reading is usually the best time to grab a popular book on the bestseller list that captivates our imagination and sends it into another place and time. This article, however, discusses how the internet pulls our attention in several directions all at once.
In a single 5-minute particle of time, a person may divide their time between checking email, working on a task, chatting online with a couple of friends (Skype, Facebook, etc.), checking twitter and cell phone messages, while possibly interacting with another person. What this does is cause stress levels to rise and productivity to decrease. Yikes, that’s a scary thought.
While reading a book, in contrast, your attention is focused on the story. If you only read twenty minutes before you go to work, you’ll be more focused by the time you get there. It can be a real benefit for those who take the bus. Besides focus and concentration, there are other reasons why you should read every day. They include knowledge, stress reduction, vocabulary expansion, memory improvement, and stronger analytical skills.
Children should also read every day. Annabelle Short cites 10 Reasons why Reading is Important for Kids. She lists vocabulary expansion, making sense of the world around them, improved grammar, enhanced imagination, and in my opinion, most importantly, “it leads to their future academic success.”
I’ve frequently written about the importance of teaching reading at the elementary school level because I believe it’s the school’s most important mission. During the next two months, I’ll be traveling around the district speaking to community members about the READ ACT, or SB19-199.
This bill was passed unanimously by the 100-member state legislature. It makes reading a top priority for grades K-3. It’s a law that, when enacted with fidelity, can improve academic success for all students.
Joyce Rankin is on the State Board of Education representing the Third Congressional District which includes Leadville and Lake County. She writes the monthly column, “Across the Street” to share with constituents in the 29 counties she represents. The Department of Education, where the State Board of Education meets, is located across the street from the Capitol. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rusch’s Book, Movie Available at Library
If you’re looking for a good read, there’s a new book on the Lake County Public Library’s shelf thanks to an internationally renown athlete who made the donation before leaving the Cloud City. Earlier this month during the Leadville Trail 100 (LT100) Mountain Bike Race, 4x LT100 women’s champion Rebecca Rusch was in town to discuss women’s cycling during the Women Ride The Women panel discussion at the “Race Across The Sky” Expo.
Before leaving town, Rusch donated autographed copies of both her book, Rusch to Glory and her Emmy-Award winning documentary, Blood Road The Collectors Edition. In her book Rusch to Glory: Adventure, Risk & Triumph on the Path Less Traveled, Rusch weaves her fascinating life’s story among the exotic locales and extreme conditions that forged an extraordinary athlete from ordinary roots. It includes her journey to the start line at the Leadville Trail 100 and the impact the local race had on her career.
For locals who were not able to see her award-winning documentary Blood Road when it premiered in Leadville in 2017, you can now check out the film from the Lake County Public Library. The film follows ultra-endurance athlete Rebecca Rusch and her riding partner, Huyen Nguyen, as they pedal 1,200 miles along the infamous Ho Chi Minh Trail to reach the crash site of Rebecca’s father, who was shot down 40 years earlier. The scenery is incredible and the journey is epic. #BeGood and enjoy them both!
Donate Books to Help Library Friends on Saturday
This Saturday, August 24 residents will have one more opportunity to clear off those bookshelves, re-purpose all those DVDs, children’s books (in good condition) and other assorted literary items and donate them to the Lake County Public Library. This summer the Friends of the Public Library has provided several dates to donate boxed items and this Saturday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. you may do so at the 6th Street Gym at 124 E. 6th Street in Leadville. Please box up your donations otherwise they will be unable to accept your contributions. In addition please note they cannot accept: items in poor condition, cassette tapes, VHS tapes, magazines (including Life and National Geographic), study guides, textbooks, and workbooks, or encyclopedias.
According to the Lake County Public Library’s website, the Friends of Lake County Public Library raise money that enables the library to move from good to great– providing the resources for additional programming, much needed equipment, support for children’s summer reading and special events throughout the year. The work of the Friends highlights on an on-going basis the fact that the library is the cornerstone of the community providing opportunities for all to engage in the joy of life-long learning and connect with the thoughts and ideas of others from ages past to the present. Members of the Friends understand the critical importance of well-funded libraries and advocate to ensure that the library gets the resources it needs to provide a wide variety of services to all ages including access to print and electronic materials, along with expert assistance in research, readers’ advisory, and children’s services.