Today I changed the timeline photo on the Love Of Learning LLC Facebook page to a video still of my stepdaughter, Melanie, teaching our friend’s daughter, Alexa, using rhyming cards. Obviously the kids are photogenic but the picture gives me an extra smile because it really embodies the spirit of Love Of Learning LLC.
Melanie wasn’t taught to read this way. In fact she could barely read when I came into her life. While her brother eased his way through our Glen Ellyn public school system, Melanie was falling behind and not really enjoying school. So after a little exploration we decided that Melanie’s fifth grade year would be at the local Montessori, Montessori Academy of Glen Ellyn. Perhaps it was over ambitious to think spending one year in Montessori would change the effects of her entire education from primary school and before. The truth was that she still struggled with reading for the next couple of years. However, we did notice something right away. We saw a transformation that we consider classic to the concept of Love Of Learning LLC.
Melanie literally loved going to school. She connected with all the teachers and staff who came from diverse backgrounds. Melanie often struggled in classes when personalities didn’t immediately connect her with the teacher. Perhaps the greatest impact was that Melanie became a leader. We were told that she often volunteered to help the younger students downstairs and that she was a great role model in class. It was not the exact value we initially sought out by switching from public school to private school. It seemed that Melanie had stepped out of her older brother’s shadow and created a new identity for herself. In fact, it was that year Melanie decided to join Glen Ellyn’s very prestigious youth football league, the Golden Eagles. She would be one of two girls out of five hundred kids in the entire program those few years.
We were all a little sad and apprehensive that she would leave the sanctuary of the Montessori Academy of Glen Ellyn and transition to the local Jr High. However, after Melanie’s first day at Hadley Jr High, she came home with an excited sense of urgency to complete her homework and get ready for football practice. I hardly recognized the child. Skip ahead five years and Melanie retires her football career as a Sophomore on the Glenbard West, Hitters, a nationally ranked program and she’s an A student. Now she’s turned her efforts toward team management for the Wrestling, Volleyball and Football teams at Glenbard West and she is also very instrumental in our Love Of Learning LLC Reading Program as a primary illustrator and on camera demonstrator. So when you see that image of Melanie and Alexa on our time, try to read the subtext of the picture. It is really the embodiment of the Love of Learning LLC.
By Mark Tulloss