We are very excited to have Vincent Ventura on board as our WRADvocate from the American School Foundation of Monterrey in Mexico (alongside fellow WRADvocate Greta Guerrero)! The American School Foundation of Monterrey is a private, non-profit, independent, international day school providing a U.S.-type education to international and Mexican students.
Vincent is the Assistant Principal of Curriculum & Instruction for Literacy (Nursery - 2nd Grade) at the school. He is also a Literacy Consultant at the International School of Curacao. Having been a former literacy coach and elementary school teacher, Vincent has been an inspirational advocate for youth literacy for years. He has been a wonderful friend of LitWorld for some time now, holding World Read Aloud Day events in his community in 2010.
To learn more about Vincent, read on below:
1. Can you share some of your earliest memories of reading and how they impacted you?
My fondest memory of reading was my 3rd Grade teacher who read Tales of A Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. I remember that it was a "treat" since we were only in 3rd grade, and that since we were in a combined grade class, we had the honor of hearing the book. It was at that point I fell in love with reading. The idea that one can be transported to another time & place was simply amazing!
2. Is there a particular book that has changed your life in some way and why?
I think like many kids anything from Judy Blume & Beverly Cleary influenced my life!
4. How has what you've read influenced you professionally?
As an educator, I realize that reading simply opens doors to "what if" for everyone. It allows us to experience, empathize, and enjoy the lives of others.
5. What advice would you give to teachers, parents and caregivers who want to reach their struggling readers?
Determine the struggling readers interests - and find books that relate to that subject.
6. What book do you think young people should not miss?
I love Crash by Jerry Spinelli.
7. Do you have a memory of someone reading aloud to you that changed you in some way? How did that change you?
It goes back to question #2.
8. It is said that stories and poems teach values. Is there one value in particular that has inspired your life and your good work that might connect back to a book that was either read to you or that you read on your own?
I think the book Who Moved My Cheese was a life changer for me - I was at a point in my life where I didn't know where to go. I read the book, and it really opened up my eyes to the idea of figuring out where to go.
9. What do you think is most essential for teachers, parents and caregivers to do in order to nurture a child to become a lifelong reader?
READ to your children. SPEND time at the library. READ!
10. What do you think the future holds for readers?
I think that the digitalization of reading will prove to be very interesting. I think we need to embrace the age of digital books!
11. Will you share with us some final meditations on the power of the read aloud and of reading in general to the emotional lives of children and for all people?
A bit cheesy but... The world can sometimes seem scary and confusing. But if you're going to get lost, why not do it in a book!