Blog #5 Literacy Sponsors

When I first read Brandt’s definition of “Sponsors of Literacy” the phrase “ and gain advantage by it in some way” threw me off. The first “advantage”  that came to my mind was money. Cha-CHING. I mean that would consist of a long list of teachers and professor. So I stopped being so shallow, and dug a little deeper into my memory, emotional intelligence , and continued to read the excerpt and realized my first major literacy sponsor was my grandmother (on my Father’s side). From Kindergarten to 8th grade my Gram and I would walk to the library everyday during the summer. The walk to the library was only 10/ 15 minutes..We would justify our pit stops at Mcdonalds with the fact the decided to walk instead of drive. I did everything my Grams did at the library except for reading. She would browse, so I would browse. She would pick out a few books, put them back, take them off the shelf again, begin reading a couple pages, and then check them out. Her selection was mostly fiction, a lot of crime, horror, mystery, and thriller novels. I would come to the library’s front counter with a stack with bright covers, big letters, and thin books. I knew I wouldn’t read them I just wanted to do what my Grams did. She supported and enabled my early literacy learning by taking me to the library and giving me the access and opportunity to enhance my literacy learning and I guess I didn’t make the most of it. But we gained a lot of valuable time together. My second literacy sponsor(s) would be my parents who taught me how to, or attempted to teach me how to read. When I could read, by dad would read me a passage from something and ask me to explain what he just read using my own words. I would try to just memorize what he said and repeat it back to him but that only upset him. My mom, on the other hand was a HUGE FAN of flashcards. This woman still has flashcards for colors, animals, household furniture, occupations, and her favorite multiplication tables in her sock drawer. She used them on my older brothers, me , my nieces, and my little cousins. My mom and dads different methods for helping me to learn and understand language and literacy gives a little insight as to how they learned. My dad was adopted in Southern California by a VERY AMERICAN family who was originally from Illinois. My Grams loved to read as a hobby and she passed that onto my dad. My mom was born and raised in Apia, Samoa and moved to Southern California at 21. Her first language and  the language she predominantly used at home was Samoan. She learned English in school and depended on study aids such as flash cards to help her. For my dad reading was hobby he used to connect to my Grams with. For my mom, reading was a tool and a skill that she could perfect and practice to assimilate and guarantee work. I can’t decide if I’m missing out or if I’m over privileged because I don’t have the same value for literacy learning as my parents did.

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