Anti-Bullying

Kids Reading Problems

Author’s Experience as a Child – Kids Reading Problems

Help for the Struggling Reader

Today I wanted to address something that I definitely think is important. I wanted to just put this out there because I believe a lot of other children are suffering from exactly what I suffered from when I was young and they may not know how to address it or know what to do with it.

It may discourage them from moving forward in any other capacity. I know, for a long time, it held me back and I didn’t even know that it was holding me back until I got over it.

I want to just let you in on something. It came up because the question was asked, “At what age was it that you fell in love with books and what age was it that you fell in love with reading?”

I think that’s a common question when it comes to interviewing an author or talking to an author. You automatically assume that this person has always been in love with books.

Growing up, my younger sister, who is two years younger than me, she absolutely loved books, she was a fanatic. I, on the other hand, didn’t.

I loved subjects like math — she loved reading and spelling. I could barely spell and it always made me embarrassed and ashamed. It made me feel like I wasn’t going to get anywhere in that department.

When it came to school, I was one of those kids that, when I got to English class and reading, where I knew we were going to read out loud, I would act like I was sick, I would act like I was sleepy, and I would put my head down on the desk.

Obviously, I was not really learning a lot in those classes because of my embarrassment to read out loud. The thing about it is, my mother wasn’t a reader, she never really instilled reading into us because she wasn’t a reader. My sister just loved to do it on her own.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t read, I actually could read, but when it came to reading out loud, forget about it. It seemed like I absolutely couldn’t read because my nerves were through the roof.

I’ve noticed that there are a lot of other kids like that in the school system, where I go and volunteer, that there’s a lot of kids that absolutely won’t read — they’re too embarrassed. Sometimes when they do read, they can barely pronounce or say the simplest words.

At first, I was thinking that man, these kids just can’t read. But, it may be a matter like it was with me when it comes to reading out loud or in public where you freeze up. 

I didn’t get over this until I was 25 years old. I can’t believe I went my entire life living like this — pretty much in fear. I always prided myself in not being fearful of things, but I was absolutely terrified to read out loud.

It wasn’t until one day, a friend of mine from California, a young lady that really helped me to overcome this. She asked me did I want to do Bible study? Would I do Bible studies with her? We were going to do it, I think every day by phone because I had just become saved recently. I was terrified to say yes, but I didn’t want to say no to her at the same time because I was really zealous about the Word and I wanted to move forward. So, I said yes.

I got this Bible from a pastor friend of mine that was pretty tough, it wasn’t an easy Bible. But, when I called, she said, “Ok, you read first,” and I kind of froze up because I didn’t want to read. I got to stuttering and telling her, and she encouraged me and she continued to encourage me. She didn’t laugh, she didn’t snicker, she was perfectly calm and acted like nothing was wrong.

It really took me to make myself vulnerable, first of all, and to be comfortable enough with her in order to move past that. As the time went past, I started to love to read out loud. Now, as a minister, I read out loud all the time, I’m always reading out loud.

But, I’m reflecting on this, because it kind of just went away, because someone, who took the time, to not criticize me, to not overly critique me, but just really listen and understand, and act like nothing was wrong.

It gave me the confidence and built me up in order for me to overcome that.

Part of me being an author now is not just because of that event, but it has something to do with me overcoming that. Part of it was because when I first had the idea, when I felt like the Lord gave me the ideas to do this, I tried to pass it off to my sister.

I tried to pass it off to people because I didn’t have the confidence in myself. When nobody else would do it, I ended up having to prove to myself that I can do it.

Since then I’ve written three children’s books that I’ve got manuscripts for and I’m almost done with my second novel, and I just had a great idea this morning for another one.

But, my point is, there’s a lot of kids out there that suffer from this. And the bullying culture that we have makes it almost impossible for them to get over it because the minute that they mess up, the minute that they say the wrong thing, people laugh at them.

It’s not only from the kids, but from the expression that the teacher gives, the expression that the parent gives, the expression from people around, anybody around.

I’m always reminded of the young lady who helped me. I have much respect for her, I will always have much respect for her, that’s why I love her because she took the time to just be normal and act like nothing was wrong.

She encouraged me when I needed encouraging, and built me up when I needed building up. That’s more of what we need when it comes to working with these kids, these reluctant readers, these children that don’t believe in themselves.

It’s a lack of belief in themselves, and once they get the confidence they can achieve anything.

That’s like everything — once you get the confidence, once you start to believe you can do something, you’ll do it.

I wanted to do this video today, because there’s a parent out there that has a child that’s just like I was. There are teachers who have students just like I was. You have a grandkid, a niece, a nephew, you know somebody, that’s like that and they could do a lot if they only believed in themselves and if they only had someone to encourage them and build them up.

I wanted to leave that with you today. I hope this video reaches somebody, touches somebody, and helps somebody, because it’s hard living in fear of something as simple as reading aloud and it’ll hold you back in school big time.

It’ll hold you back from achieving a lot. It’ll hold you back from a lot of knowledge because not only will you not read in front of people, but you’ll tend to not read even when you’re by yourself.

I hope that helps.

Take care, take charge, and God bless,

T.W. Bright

 

 

National Bullying Prevention Month – TW Bright Speaks at Bookstore

This is Stirling Books and Brew, where I’m going to go and discuss my new book, Bright and the Bully, and another upcoming project. It starts at 7:00 and I’m about 15 minutes early, going to mingle a little bit and see you guys inside.

Inside here, it’s pretty nice, this is the local section, Albion, my hometown. You can see all the different authors who have written books here. Looking around Books and Brews, it’s pretty cool, they have a little fireplace in the lounge area. Saying hello and seeing the authors who are performing tonight.

Now it’s my turn.

I am an up and coming author, with my recent children’s book. The one that I hold in my hand right now is the one I want to talk about that I’m getting published. It’s got about another week more of revisions from the illustrator and I’m super excited about it and I wanted to share it with you guys.

It’s really like my baby and really near my heart because I was one of those kids in school who used to put their head down on the table when it came to English class. I liked math, but when it came to reading and writing, English and all of that, I just put my head down. If someone would have told me when I was younger that I would actually be a writer, I would have laughed at them.

So, I believe that the Lord started giving me these ideas about these stories and it was kind of unbelievable to me. But, at the same time it really gave me this inner joy to do when I started. For that reason, this is my baby. This is one I wanted to traditionally publish, but I didn’t want anybody touching it, I didn’t want anybody changing anything, and I wanted my ideas to remain intact. I wanted the story to remain intact, so this one I’m actually self-publishing.

This one is called Bright and the Bully and it’s a superhero book, but with a different spin on it. From the cover, one of the things I did is I took a group of people, both white and black, and what does this cover say to you. At first it was just the two kids on it and I said “does this look like it’s race-baiting or something?”. Some of them said no, others said yeah, so we ended up putting some other kids in the back just to change it up.

With anything that I do, it comes from somewhere, from an actual story. And in working with kids and volunteering at schools, and things like that, I’ve got a lot of stories.

So, one of the things I wanted to do in this book is I wanted to focus on the bystander.

Traditionally books are dealing with the bully. What I wanted to do was deal with the bystander, because oftentimes what it is, is that the kids around it could make it a lot better. If we have a group of kids here, and this specific kid is being bullied, and all the bystanders are all standing around laughing, they make things worse.

So, what I wanted to do with my story is I wanted to make this a story that focuses more on the bystanders than the bully.

It’s about a kid named Brighton, and he’s faced with this conflict that one of the little girls at the school is being bullied. And immediately, Brighton starts to think in his head, “If only I could use my superpowers, I would twirl him around like a tornado, I would fly him to the moon!”

So, he’s thinking from what we normally think of superheroes, vigilante style.

Then he hears a little voice coming from inside of him telling him to be the light of the world. As he does that, he turns into this superhero, this great superhero and his name is Bright.

This is when he goes forth and teaches the other kids how to deal with a bully and he actually uses five steps on how to deal with the bully, not the violent way. It’s ways that a believer or somebody who has some kind of moral base would do and not vigilante style.

I thought it was right on time, especially with National Bullying Prevention Month coming up, and I’ve been working really hard trying to get this done for about two years. If anyone would have told me that writing and publishing a children’s book would be this hard, I wouldn’t have really believed it. It’s definitely time consuming and you have to put a lot of money into it because you’re paying for each and every illustration, but I say it’s well worth it.

I’m really excited about it and I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s not out right now, but it’s going to be on Amazon and I’m working with some people to get it in Barnes and Nobles. Hopefully before we go it’ll be all over the world. This is just one of the series and I hope you guys will tune in and share it once I get it all up and going.

Thank you.

Q&A

Where can we find out more about it?

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/brightkidhero/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/bright_the_hero

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/twbright_official/

What are your other ideas for children’s books?

The next one is going to be about the origin and how he became Bright.

Brighton is actually my little nephew, Breslin, and he recently got his hair cut. He had the same kind of hair so I was thinking about doing one about him getting a hair cut. Because a lot of kids have a problem with being afraid to go get a haircut.

But the next one will be about the origins of Brighton.

 

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