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  • For quite a few years in addition to being principal I was the librarian at the school.

    I love to read aloud.

    I love the hush in a room when the kids settle into the story.

    I love stopping to let a thought ripple outward like a stone tossed in a pool.

    I love when a kid says, “We read that last year.” Not as a critique but as a greeting for an old friend.

    Sometimes I read picture books to show writing craft. Others for a laugh or to take them somewhere new.

    And then there are the stories with lessons. Telling a lesson through story is a time honored practice.

    For me empathy is one of the most powerful and important character skills out there. In a world of boundaries and borders, labels and categories, fences and walls, empathy is so desperately needed.

    I found a great book to read that, to me, brought empathy home. It is called Hey Little Ant and tells the story of an ant about to be stepped on by a kid. It uses the voices and perspectives of both ant and child.

    Perfect.

    I read to second grade with drama, emphasis and lots of voice.

    At lunch recess that day, I saw a group of second graders doing a strange dance by the steps to the top building.

    What are you guys up to, I asked.

    Stomping ants, they told me.
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