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March 2019 by V. R. Duin


The charging bull of illuminated energy that comes with structured reading mentoring programs, reading mentorship and reading tutoring can help anyone achieve the expected level or the next level.

Mentoring fills gaps. Dual working parents, single parenting and broad ranges of academic and socio-economic levels need to be bridged. Children are in need of structured reading mentoring programs for continuity.

Reading proficiency at the end of third grade is an indicator of future success. Reading skills are scaled against academic standards. Book language complexity is measured by technical applications, formulas and systems.

Reading a few pages of a title online helps determine complexity. Typing a couple paragraphs of extracted text in Microsoft Word under “Spelling & Grammar” gives a readability score for the content.

Fast-moving screen time pulls kids from reading. Screen time is fast-paced, but it is not instructive. Children play online rather than read. A child who cannot read, cannot learn about subjects that matter for career building.

Stages in learning advance by experience rather than by age. Learning to read takes practice. Reading tutors may instill an enthusiasm for reading activities. Students learn by participating with others.

A structured reading mentoring program supplements the diminishing role of family in education. The Reading Mentors Program of the Governor's Office of Georgia is a working example.

Screens present material that is not memorable. Children are attracted to fast-paced junk and awe. Their playing field may be filled with weaker or equal players. We often learn little from those closely aligned with us.

Mentors are stronger players. Mentors help children rise to the challenge. It is helpful to have a child read a passage, then explain the content. A mentor helps to speed up the integration and advancement of late bloomers.

Schools are incorporating mentorship into student development plans. Guidance and direction aid in the development of skills and knowledge. Homelessness, suspension and early parenthood may be curbed.

Tutoring adds individualized structure and progress measurement to a child's educational efforts. It may promote academic confidence in struggling readers and help advanced children push beyond grade level.

Mentorship need not come in the form of a structured system. An experienced or knowledgeable mentor can guide those with less experience or knowledge. A mentor helped V. R. Duin learn to write for children.

Programs exist for writers. Editing and ghostwriting companies have long served this market. An expert eye can massage work into polished form. It is helpful to have guidance about the audience for distinct genres and ages.

The energy of mentorship can boost beginning writers. Should writers be lucky enough to find professional writers with vast experience to help them mature, the expectation is for them to work hard on themselves.

Mentors rarely expect nor need reciprocation. They can be older or younger than the person mentored. They are defined by expertise and willingness to facilitate the metamorphosis of someone less experienced.

Mentors are their own brand of charging bull. V. R. Duin was fortunate to have Graeme Lofts as her mentor in the field of childhood reading, writing and education. Her followers hear of his ongoing influence on her work.