Ask Reading Kingdom: What was a turning point in your life?

learn to read

Significant life events like learning to read play an important role in molding the person you become later in life.

Charity (Educator) asks:

What was a turning point in your life? Please share one, and reflect on how things changed.  Thanks in advance, Reading Kingdom!

Dr. Marion Blank answers:

Many people ask me when my interest in reading began. That question takes me back to a Sunday afternoon when I was a kindergartner about five years of age. That afternoon, as on so many other weekend afternoons, we were visiting one of my many aunts and uncles. On this particular day a stranger came into my aunt’s apartment with some papers that he asked her to sign. I was taken aback by the sight of my typically self-assured aunt becoming timid and tentative as she signed an X and then stepped aside so that my father could write his signature underneath.

At first I was confused. Later it was explained to me that my aunt could not read or write. She did not even know how to write her name. All she could do was write an X that was then certified with a real signature by someone who was literate. I also found out that in my family she was not alone. Several of my older relatives had the same handicap. They had emigrated from a poor and war-torn Eastern Europe as young adults, and they had never had the opportunity to attend school.

The realization was shocking. No one in my family ever talked about it, but time after time the illiteracy problem would appear and have to be dealt with—usually at great personal cost to people whom I held dear.

I was determined to do something about the situation. So at six years of age, when I found that my own dream of learning to read and write was becoming a reality, I decided to teach my newfound ability to my grandmother, whom I adored. She was a phenomenal person. Like so many women of her era, she endured hard- ships that are unimaginable to today’s generation. She arrived in this country as a teenager, alone, without knowing a word of English. She married in her early twenties and was widowed in her early thirties. She worked tirelessly to raise her six children, taking any and all jobs she could get including laundry, housecleaning, sewing, and plucking feathers off chickens in butcher shops. Nevertheless she was jolly, resilient, and totally willing to allow her little granddaughter to be her teacher. Sadly, within a short time she became seriously ill and the lessons ended. Never the less that experience deeply affected me. I had started on the path that I was to follow for the rest of my life.

Reading Kingdom has devoted her life to helping children learn to read, and has used her innovative methods to help thousands of kids around the world. Now, with her groundbreaking new reading program, Reading Kingdom, she is making her system available to every parent.  Sign up for a free 30 day trial to help your child learn to read today!