Kelly Gallagher suggests being surrounded by books




On Sat, Feb 9, which was the last day 2013 CCIRA (Colorado Council International Reading Association) Conference, author Kelly Gallagher was the keynote speaker for the morning. His books are about how to create a classroom where reading and writing are loved. He is also an English teacher. After his session, he told CK the importance of reading and writing.





Gallagher has always loved reading, writing, and teaching. “My mom was a teacher, so I’ve always been around print,” he said. “Even if we didn’t have books, my parents would take us to the library.” He also told me, “I think the reason I was always a reader was because my parents surrounded me with things to read. I don’t think it would have happened had they not surrounded me. It’s having access (to reading material) that makes the difference.”





He is currently working on another book about reading and writing in the new “common core” state standards. Common core standards are what students are expected to learn, so teachers and parents can follow that.





In spare time, Gallagher likes to read, travel, relax, and go to baseball games. He is a season ticket holder for the Anaheim Angels baseball team, and while talking to teachers around the country, he enjoys going to minor league baseball games.





Kelly’s books have impacted the community everywhere he goes. “People tell me that my books have helped change the way they teach,” he stated. “I think my books have helped teachers remember to develop recreational readers, not just academic readers.” If someone is a recreational reader, than they enjoy reading outside of what the school provides. He believes that with all the testing that schools do,“Schools have lost sight of the recreational part of reading.’





To avoid kids only being academic readers, Gallagher suggests,”Surround kids with good books. Surround kids with high interest reading material. Books, magazines, comic books, graphic novels. You can’t swim if there’s no water in the pool. So there has to be water in the pool, right?”