Shelley Monastra

WRADvocate Profile: Shelley Monastra

Shelly Monastra is our WRADvocate from Ohio. She is a mother and a blogger. She writes on her personal blog called Clever Pockets, and has an eight year old son in the third grade. We are thrilled she is joining us this year!

1. Can you share some of your earliest memories of reading and how they impacted you? 
Bible stories have always been a major influence in my life. My earliest memories of reading is that of little baby Moses. I might not have read the words but I remember reading those pictures and my Sunday school teacher's face. She was smiling and listening with as though it was the first time she heard the story. I brought pleasure to some one just by reading. I found that so remarkable.

 2. What advice would you give to teachers, parents and caregivers who want to reach their struggling readers?

 My advice to anyone who is trying to help a struggling reader is confidence, acceptance and patience. Have the confidence they are lacking. Accept that some learn differently. Have the patience to allow them to blossom. As a mother of a struggling child, get Pam Allyn's book, "Your Child's Writing Life" and practice your own reading skills! It's not just for children.

3. Do you have a memory of someone reading aloud to you that changed you in some way? How did that change you?
Mrs. Nussbaum, she was my third grade teacher. She had long black hair and a smile that made everything better. She read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to us. I remember hoping for a rainy day so we would stay indoors for recess just so she would read. It was like she took me by the hand and walked me through the factory herself. Her expressions made everyone come alive. You could feel the cold blowing in the cracks of the shack and the excitement Charlie felt opening up the chocolate bars. I was mesmerized by the tone of her words. There is reading and there is reading the words to life. that is what I took from Mrs. Nussbaum's third grad class. 

4. 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? 
Anyone wanting to nurture a child to be a life long reader is make it enjoyable. You provide the doors and let the child open them.

5. What do you think the future holds for readers?
The future holds unlimited possibilities for readers. Reading gives super powers to a child who feels powerless, even if it's just till the end of the story. Reading is laughter, suspense and compassion. I don't think the future holds readers. I really believe readers hold our future.

To learn more about Shelley, visit her on her blog, Clever Pockets.