Reading Kingdoms’ concept originated from a family discussion during dinner last year. As a result of the overwhelming concern of many struggling schools in Rhode Island, my wife Tatia, my father-in-law Robert Green and myself thought of a comprehensive solution that addresses reading to children in a multi-pronge approach (family, school and community).
This very discussion has been happening for a few years, initiated by Robert Green, who recently earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Rhode Island. “Mr. Green”, as I call him is a man who has a passion for making changes in his community. For eighteen years, he worked for Head Start in Pawtucket; where he actively contributed in the Fatherhood Program. He is a ninja for reading. He relentlessly spoke about the positive attributes of reading to build healthy brains starting from conception, and the negative effect of toxic stress.
My wife, Tatia, who earned a bachelor’s degree in Writing and Rhetoric from the University of Rhode Island, worked as an Ameri-Corps volunteer teacher in Atlanta, Georgia, and a volunteer adult ESL teacher for the Providence Archdiocese. As a mother of two, she has always focused her undivided attention toward literacy and the guiding light of supporting communities on the importance of reading and parent partnerships.
As a World Language Teacher at Chariho Middle School, and the Director of an after school language program for the Warwick Public Schools. I earned a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor’s degree in French and Spanish from the University of West Georgia. I believe equipping children with the right tools through reading and nurturing environments makes a difference in the classroom and throughout life.
As a family unit, our innate passion drove us to create this research based concept known as Reading Kingdoms. We would use one of the many foreclosed houses around struggling elementary schools, and transform it into a homelike reading environment. Children will read and be read to by supporting caregivers to revive the fun in reading. Our team is multilingual and multicultural in relation to further addressing the needs of the community. Therefore language and diversity will assist in parents being aware of new scientific findings about brain development and toxic stress; we believe it takes a community to make a change!