This I Believe

Laura - Trussville, Alabama
Entered on May 14, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

As a result of my achievements, I have come to one conclusion: reading raises one’s ability to learn. As a result of my childhood experiences, I have this belief.

As a younger child, I had one disability. While other children in my class were learning all the essentials needed for reading, I was unable to grasp the concept. My teachers gave me a test to see where I was in the learning stage. The results showed that my performance level was twenty points below my intelligence level. As a result of that, I was placed in a resource class. My teachers realized that I was failing in so many areas of the school’s curriculum, because I was unable to read the material given to me. They believed the best thing was to place me in a class that would fill in the gaps that I had in my phonics.

I was in the resource class for about a year, when things started changing for the better. I was comprehending things better than I ever had before. Because I had improved so much, I was released from the class. Once I was placed back in my original classes, my grades immediately started advancing. I had gone from making D’s to making B’s and C’s. Though my grades were good, my performance was still not as impressive as many of the other students’.

I continued to struggle with my performance, until I reached sixth grade. Every year my middle school had a reading program. It was optional, but when I heard that the student to finish first would receive a prize, I decided to participate. When I learned that the teachers were participating as well, I was a bit discouraged, but I still decided to give it a try. The program required twenty books to be read, both non-fictional and fictional. For each book, I was required to write a small summary pertaining to the book. I really got into the program. For each book I read, I began to love reading more and more. The prize that the winner would receive became unimportant. I was reading, because I enjoyed it. At the end of the program, I ended up winning. Though I was glad to have been the first to finish, I didn’t really care that I was the winner. The more important thing was that I found something I really loved.

From then on, I was always reading, and my grades became better and better. I came to this realization, because books speak a more defined language. The more I read, the more I comprehended things. I was making straight A’s, and I even received the “Most Dedicated Female Student” award in 8th grade. I sometimes asked myself how I went from being the worst student in the class to one of the highest achieving students in the class. I could only think of one answer, “I learned how to read”.