If You Give a Dad a Story

By: Matt Foss on October 18th, 2023

One of my favorite parts of being a parent was reading to my kids. Having them get ready for bed and then listen intently to a story before going to sleep was a satisfying way to end the day. Now that my kids are getting older, and can capably read by themselves, they don’t need or want dad to read to them. That sounds sad, but I understand.

All joy is not lost, however, because as part of the Wausau Early Birds Rotary Club, I’m volunteering in “Reading to Go,” where Rotarians read books to elementary school students, then provide books for the students to promote literacy. The kindergarten class I was assigned to last week was engaged and attentive, and I’m already looking forward to reading to them next month. As a voracious reader and lifelong learner myself, it’s personally rewarding for me to help children get interested in reading at a young age.

This image shows Museum director Matt Foss reading a book to a group of kindergarteners

This makes my job at the Museum fun in the coming months because we are planning for the exhibition Soñadora: Yuyi Morales – on view from December 2, 2023 through February 24, 2024 – and the artist residency of Yuyi Morales occurring February 14 through February 19. Morales, an award-winning children’s book illustrator and author, will be here to meet Museum audiences and spend some time reading to area school children.

This is an image from the book "Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales. It shows a woman holding a baby with flowers surrounding them and the sun shining in the background.

“Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales

This is an image from the book "Viva Frida" by Yuyi Morales, featuring artist Frida Kahlo in air, seemingly in a dream

“Viva Frida” by Yuyi Morales

Besides watching school groups and families with young children enjoy the artwork in Soñadora during the winter months, I’m excited to accompany Yuyi to one of the schools so I can see how students react when they listen to the author herself read the story. Hopefully, I can pick up some tricks of the trade from Yuyi to bring back to my designated classroom. Heck, maybe even my own kids will give me another shot to read to them.

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