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The Books

I have lots of little traditions with the boys of St. Valentine’s. Most have sprung up organically – the kids once asked if I could make them dinner and now we look forward to our special meals (packed with extra veggies and protein!) on every trip. But some traditions are more intentional.
 
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I’ve brought some early-reader books in the hopes of reading with the boys to assess where they’re at in school. When I bring out the books on our first night, the reaction is unexpected – they’re vying for the chance to go first, desperately grateful for the opportunity to learn. There is an unbelievable eagerness to read and it’s obvious they’re receiving little support.
 
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Usually we watch cartoons projected on their wall in the evenings, but these boys only want to read for hours at a time. I’ve never seen such focus, determination and joy for learning, which they’ll need because they can barely string basic words together at this point. When I prepare to leave they all beg me to stay for just one more page and when I finally depart, I leave them gathered around the single book I’ve left, helping each other decipher the simple words on the page.
 
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With the proper tutoring, their world will open up. I can’t even fathom how much potential these boys have – all they need is the chance to discover it. I’ve vowed to return every night and read with them before bed, no matter how tired I am. If they’re willing to put in the time and effort, so am I.