Rodney 1

My Life as a Reader

  • Born in Charleston, S.C

    Born in Charleston, S.C
    I was the fourth of five children. We grew up in the projects and did not have many books.
  • Started pre-school

    Started pre-school
    Pre-school was separate from elementary,books were read aloud.
  • Elementary School Years 1972-1978

    Elementary School Years 1972-1978
    Schools were still segregated. I was not introduced to many books, so I was not interested in reading. I did read comic books for entertainment.
  • Middle School Years 1979-1982

    Middle School Years 1979-1982
    The schools were still segregated during my 6th and 7th-grade years of middle school. Reading was a struggle, but my parents made us go to school as friends dropped out. At the beginning of my 8th-grade year, we moved from the projects where the schools were integrated. This was my first time being around white teachers and students. I soon realized I was behind in reading, so I took my books home daily. I remember reading Shane, Old Yeller, and Charlotte's Web.
  • High School Years 1983-1986

    High School Years 1983-1986
    By the end of middle school, I was reading everything I could get my hands on. A new world opened up, and my love for reading began. I read more books in my high school years than I did in my elementary and middle school years. Tom Clancy was one of my favorite authors.
  • U.S. Navy 1986-2008

    U.S. Navy 1986-2008
    After high school, I joined the Navy; I traveled worldwide and experienced books about different cultures. While in the military, my reading focused on history and military books. I also began to read books about construction and engineering.
  • My Wife and Kids 1996-2023

    My Wife and Kids 1996-2023
    I got married in February 1996, and our first child was born in March 1997, the second in December 1999. My girls loved when I read to them because I would use different voices to bring the book to life. Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and ham was one of their favorites.
    My son was born in 2003 and they all love reading.
  • College Years 2009-2012

    College Years 2009-2012
    After I retired from the Navy, I pursued a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood/ Special Education because I wanted students to experience the fun of learning, especially reading. I love when I read students' books or they read their books. You can see how much they enjoy it; the book transfers them to a place where they can be anyone they choose to be.
  • Adult Life Long Reader

    Adult Life Long Reader
    Today, I continue to read Tom Clancy. I am also into home improvement or do-it-yourself books because maintenance and repairs can be expensive. My all-time favorite book is the Bible; you can read it repeatedly and experience something new or strengthening every time. For me, reading provides an escape from everyday anxieties.