THE RITTA RATIONALE by
Cynthia “Lady Rose” Roberson
As a School Media Specialist, day after day I am dismayed and out right baffled by the lack of reading interests, abilities and the levels of lethargy about learning among our school age youth.In my observation, it became immediately clear that to address the students’ needs to read both efficiently and effectively, see education as a means of emancipation, while helping them to discover and develop their intellectual strengths, young scholars needed something to ignite their interest and encourage their curiosity while motivating them to read more and improve unfavorable attitudes towards libraries and books, with special emphasis given to struggling and reluctant readers.
These challenges inspired me to create the media center program Reading With Ritta Book, a program that “literally brings literacy and learning to life.” By incorporating music, poetry, arts, crafts, drama and dance into the reading curriculum, I have been able to successfully motivate, inspire and encourage my students to not only read but, enthusiastically engage in the learning process.
Why was this so important to me? Because, I myself was once a struggling, reluctant reader and can empathize whole heartily with the plight of not knowing how to competently read or write. As a child, it gravely affected my ability to excel academically and consumed my life with feelings of inferiority and insecurity. With this in mind, I made a vow to myself that no student of mine would ever know the pain of being bullied by books or intimidated by the task of seeking and finding information within a library/media center that could empower them with the tools to succeed.
The RITTA BOOK ® concept was designed for the reluctant and/or struggling reader as an interactive child/student focused media center program, geared to stimulate both curiosity and interest about books and the library, while helping all students become independent information-literate, lifelong learners.