Renee Pena holds a B.A. in Dance and Integrated Arts from Bard College and has had the joy of working in many kids-art based organizations, such as El Museo del Barrio and City Lights Youth Theater. She is currently attending Mercy College to get her M.A. in Early Childhood Education and Special Education. To learn more about Creative Sitters visit www.creativesitters.org.
Although it was 1990, it does not feel so long ago that I fell in love with reading,
I was 7 years old and cringed at the sight of letters and pages. I remember when words were becoming too complex and looked like a snowball of letters put together on a page. I grew more and more frustrated, so pictures replaced words. I often skipped words and flipped sentence structures. I struggled with spelling and my parents tried everything to get me to read. They even threatened to take away my first love: dance. I still did not budge.
Little did we know, this was the beginning of my struggles as a dyslexic.
Hooked on Phonics then started the journey to fall in love with reading. I am technologically dating myself here, but Hooked on Phonics solidified my love for my cassette player. This is a strategy that I used for myself when beginning Hooked on Phonics.
For 20 minutes a day, I choose a subject of interest and skill level with the program. If I missed something or couldn’t comprehend,, I could rewind the section. I could also pause the tape to grab a dictionary or write a note. Hooked on Phonics was a program that I could control at my own pace without the pressures of the classroom. As my confidence grew so did interest and love for reading.
Now I am off to reread Catcher In the Rye!