This I Believe

Laura - goshen, Indiana
Entered on February 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I Believe

I believe in the power if Johanna Spyri’s Heidi.

I was still unable to read the summer before third grade. My parents used every trick and I finally learned that summer. My elementary school, like most, used Accelerated Reader. Students would read a book then be tested on what they read as a way to test their reading comprehension. As I searched through the titles and looked at the covers of rows and rows of colorful books on our first trip to the school library, one happened to catch my eye Johanna Spyri’s Heidi. I pulled the worn, hardcover book off its shelf and presented it to the librarian. Soon after I was approached by my teacher who proceeded to inform me that I had chosen a very difficult book, no one had ever been able to pass its test and reading this book would only discourage me. But I insisted and read the book, passing the test with 100 percent accuracy.

My experience in grade school taught me, through reading, not only about traveling to worlds I had never heard of in stories such as The Chronicle’s of Narnia, transporting to times I had never lived in such as A Wrinkle in Time and discovering places I had never seen in the Redwall series, but also that reading offers opportunity to excel. I soon became one of the best readers in the class and continued to be so throughout my school career. I learned that good students often receive benefits which other students do not, such as prizes and scholarships to colleges and camps, which allow the student to climb higher not only academically, but also gives them the chance to rise socially and possibly economically through college and hard work.

Reading offers everyone a chance to learn about life lessons, events in history and others mistakes which should not be repeated. Out of all the lessons a student learns I believe the most important lesson is the simple fact that “you are not alone”. There are others facing the same issues and tribulations which are faced in real life; issues such as death, anger and confusion; stories such as this create in the reader not only a sense of belonging but also Hope, Courage and the Faith to press on.

An important fact to also note is that the word student, in my dictionary, does not refer only those who are currently attending a school or academic establishment but rather anyone who chooses to further themselves in any subject at any point in their lives; from math to beadwork to life as a whole, those who learn are students.

This I believe; everyone is a student and reading helps students to excel academically, socially, economically and helps the student get through life in general. I believe that reading stimulates the imagination and creates a sense of belonging in the reader, and I believe that through our experiences with written word, whether it be Heidi or Shakespeare, we can achieve great things.