A Dad and Daughter's 9-Year Reading Streak Finally Comes To An End

Father and daughter Jim Brozina and Alice Ozma didn't intend to read together every night for nine years; it just happened. When Ozma was in fourth grade, her parents split up and she found herself spending more time with her father. Brozina was a children's librarian and chose to bond with his daughter by reading with her every night for 100 nights.

At the end of 100 nights, they kept going, until Brozina went off to college. More than 3,000 nights later.

For Brozina, the hardest part wasn't maintaining the streak - it was ending it. Ozma was heading off to college at Rutgers, and it was time to bring the nearly nine-year tradition to a close. On the last night, Ozma chose to read from the same book they'd read for their first father-daughter reading: The Wizard of Oz. "That was the single hardest thing to do," Brozina recalls, "to read, choked up, tears in eyes - both of us. That was the most difficult, to stop it."

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And cue the waterworks.

Alice Ozma has written a book about the reading streak entitled "The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books we Shared." The two have offered tips for parents on how to start a similar streak on their website.

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My dad used to read to my brother and me (eventually my sister would join the fray, but she'd insist on bringing her Barbies to evening reading time and they'd constantly have side conversations and it was distracting). While our family reading sessions occasionally skipped a night, having a father who read to me helped me grow up to be an adult who still enjoys reading. My brother's in law school, where he still finds time, after all his classwork, to read for pleasure. My sister's Barbies have finally learned to shut up. Overall, having a father who read to us has had a positive impact on our lives, and I hope to be able to do the same for my theoretical future child. That is, if I can keep myself from bursting into tears when I imagine that child going off to college.

Father-Daughter Reading Streak Lasts Nearly 9 Years [NPR]

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DISCUSSION

CassandraSays
CassandraSays

My mother was the one who read to me. She stopped doing so after I learned how to read myself, and I'm actually glad that she did (we continued to share bonding time in other ways). I do think that having parents share a love of books with their kids is a wonderful thing, it just doesn't have to be in the form of reading to them. My mom and I used to sometimes curl up in bed together when I was little, both reading our separate books and me sometimes stopping to tell her about a particularly exciting bit. I was also given full access to her books, which led to me reading a lot of stuff that probably wouldn't be considered age-appropriate (first Steven King book aged about 8), but it was a lot more fun for me than the stuff the teachers were giving us at school.

Slightly OT but did anyone else have the experience of already being able to read when they got to school and having the teachers get angry with their parents for having already taught them? My first teacher was furious with my mother for teaching me how to read herself because apparently parents can't be trusted to do it right - children must all learn to read at the same time and in the same way or...she never did quite explain why this was necessary.

(This was in the mid seventies, btw. The teacher was American.)