There was one real gift I brought to journalism: people would tell me things. Politicians, actors, firefighters, even minor league baseball pitchers: they all had some special story about themselves that they wanted to share.
Nearly all of us are hungry to share something of ourselves with others. All it takes to get someone to open up is a non-threatening line of questioning and the willingness to listen.
So why not tap into that hunger to share to get a kid to pick up a book?
Cathy Puett Miller is known as the "Literacy Ambassador." In anessay in Education World, she says asking questions of young readers helps those who struggle with reading to find a "worthwhile purpose" for the endeavor.
Ask them why they are reading a particular book or magazine or graphic novel. Nudge them toward articulating how the material connects to their own lives. If they're shy in a one-on-one discussion, initiate a small group discussion, again leading the conversation to find out how the book relates to each reader personally.
After all, that "worthwhile purpose" is the secret reason most of us read: to find out something that will help us in our own lives or help us to better understand ourselves.
Got a tip of your own to get reluctant readers to pick up a book? Send us an email!