The Worth of You

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Cross-posted from my blog

Lynda Mullaly Hunt made me cry yesterday.  Right in the middle of a panel session on the community of the Global Read Aloud.  I had held my tears back all throughout as the authors had shared what it means to have their book read and loved by so many children on a global scale.  I had held my tears back as they had talked about the ways that their books had changed the lives of others, how children had found hope, courage, and determination through their pages.  Yet when Lynda told me that the slide showing a globe was for me because I had changed the world. I cried.  And then Lynda cried, and I sat there in awe because I  never set out to make a difference, I simply wanted to read a book aloud to my students and have them share their thoughts.

So I write this post not to gloat in the Global Read Aloud glory.  Nor to say that I am anything special, but more so to tell people that your ideas have worth.  That your ideas may make a difference to someone else.  That those ideas you carry inside need to be spoken because you will never know what type of difference they may make.

And yes, it is scary to speak a dream aloud.  And yes, it is scary to let others in .  And yes, it is scary to be proud of what you have created.  But it is worth it.  Even if your idea changes the course for one other person, or even if just changes yours, it will never change anything if you do not speak out loud.  If you do not share.

I never set out to make a difference, I wish I could say I had.  But it happened, if even just for my own students as they fell in love with a book year after year and wanted to make the world a better place.  Because I dared to speak aloud.  I dared to think that perhaps someone somewhere would see the beauty in this so simple idea.  And so the Global Read Aloud will continue to make a difference for so many kids, for so many teachers, as we gather in this time of terrorism, uncertainty and a world determined to be dark at times.  We need books to connect us because the world seems to be trying to tear us apart at times.  We need books to remind us that we are more alike than different.  We need books and experiences and emotions so that we can remember that we are humans first and that whatever difference we may have can be overcome.

I never set out to change the world, and I am not even sure that I have.  But I had an idea that I dared speak aloud and now cannot imagine a world without it.  Share yours; change the world.

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9 thoughts on “The Worth of You

  1. You have so much to be proud of, Pernille!! You have definitely made a difference in this world, and you are absolutely right when you say it is scary to put yourself out there! There will always be people out there who make you doubt yourself! However, you have created an awesome thing and the majority of us love and appreciate it! It has done amazing things for my class, and we havent’t even finished it! It has opened so many possiblities for me and allowed me to pursue avenues in reading I had not thought of before! I love that you can do as little or as much as you want with it! That is the attraction for me! We were all so sad at my school to hear that you were discouraged before, and I am happy to see that you are realizing the positive impact that this program has brought to the globe! You are AWESOME, just like Ally Nickerson!!!

  2. … And in the end, that is the final GRA lesson to bring back to our students isn’t it? Your lesson, Pernille! Speak your dream. Reach out. Involve others. Collaborate and learn together. Keep reading. Keep growing.

    Thank you, thank you, for bringing it all to us and our students.

  3. I love GRA and this has made all the difference in my student’s lives. We haven’t finished FIAT yet, we are at the chapter when Ally tells Keisha and Albert her secret and how she fears being a nothing. Well, during journal time the kids could reflect on what we read, make connections, etc. one of my 4th grade boys who never shares asked to share first. He read how he has ADHD and how hard it is for him to focus and kearn, and his fear that he will be a nothing. Then from the depths of his soul came a heart wrenching bawl and he broke down in tears. The whole class rallied around him, encouraging him, and telling him like Slly gets help, he can get help. We all cried. I left that day in a very introspective mood, somber, and with hoor. We will finish the book and see how Ally overcomes. I know this book has impacted my students and me. We have Ally moments, and that builds our class as a family. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with two awesome classes in Maryland and Idaho! They have inspired and encouraged us!

    • This touched me so much. I am crying, too. Thank you for sharing. We did not read this book, but I am going to get a copy to share with my kiddos with ADHD.

  4. Pernille, you’ve done something small but mighty! That’s what teachers do. It’s an every day act of faith to introduce little concepts and beautiful words to students. You never know when those little concepts take root, but you do it because it’s what you do. Authors do the same. We rarely know when our words enter readers’ hearts. Sometimes we see a pair of shining eyes and we can guess. Sometimes we get letters that make our hearts ache. And then we think: Thank you. Thanks for letting me see this, just a glimpse, of where my words go.

    The world often feels fragmented. To wrap us together in the arms of a shared book is a little concept made mighty. Thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.

  5. You are making a huge difference, Pernille. You make a difference with your students, with many, many other students and teachers through GRA, with authors, and with everyone who has the honor to hear you speak. So happy to see you at NCTE and to be able to get a hug!

  6. It’s because of your dream, that we too can dream, and now we have global friends that we can share it with. This is just the beginning

  7. Pernille, you are truly amazing! Thanks for facing your fear to speak out! You have inspired many! God bless and Happy Thank sgiving.

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